Sunday, 26 July 2015
Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek...for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (RSV; Col. 3:11 is a parallel).
It is sad that we even have to respond to the use of this verse as a proof-text against Messianic Judaism. Incredibly, the answer would be obvious if the whole verse was quoted. The left out portion is "there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female." Paul is not saying that all distinctions between men and women have been obliterated! This would lead to the end of marriages and families. In what sense is there neither male nor female, then? It is defined in verses 26 and 29 - "In Messiah, Yeshua, you are all children of God, through faith ... And if you are Messiah's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise." Men and women are exactly one in this, that they are equally children of God and spiritually of equal significance. In no way does God envision men bearing children or an end to all the wonderful joys that the male-female distinction brings to life as a result of His creation-order. Men and women have different callings in life, though they are one in Messiah.
It is precisely the same with Jew and non-Jew in the Messiah. Both may be called to different styles of life and witness, to different fields of service, yet they are spiritually one in the Messiah. The oneness spoken of does not lead to a dullness of all peoples, nations, and races becoming the same in speech, manner, dress, mission, and style. What a horribly boring world that would be! It would be like a symphony orchestra composed of all violins! God's unity is a symphonic unity, blending all together under the head conductor, the Messiah. Oneness in the Messiah leaves ample room for varieties of life and calling, especially in regards to Jew and non-Jew. Note as well, non-Jews are called (in verse 29), not spiritual Israel, but the offspring of Abraham by faith.
Jewish Roots, Chapter Four: Messianic Judaism - Difficult Passages