As a Messianic rabbi, I have had the opportunity to travel around the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America. On my journeys to share my faith with people in the different countries I have visited, quite often after I speak, one or more of the people from the conference or church body at which I was sharing would come up to me and say these words, “I wish I was Jewish.” When I hear these words, I know they are referring to the Jewish people being G-D’s chosen and that in their hearts, they are trying to express a desire to have a connection to G-D that they believe is unavailable to them simply because they were born into a non-Jewish family.
I know the people that speak those words feel left out in a real way. They feel the same way a child feels when they are not chosen for a ball team. Yet, the way they feel is totally the opposite of the way that G-D wants them to feel. G-D wants every non-Jewish person to feel chosen.
Let me try to explain. This past week, I had the privilege of attending the finalization of the adoption of one of the most beautiful little girls you will ever see. For the sake of this article, I will call her Sadie (a nice Jewish name). We gathered at the courthouse with the adoptive parents and their three children. The family already has 1 son and 2 daughters, which were born into the family. All three of the girls were wearing adorable matching dresses. Sadie had been a part of the family almost since she was born, for just short of 2 years. Once we were called to enter the courtroom, the family all sat together in the front of the court. The judge then began to question the parents as to why they wanted to adopt Sadie: first the mother and then the father. Both of the parents expressed the their love for Sadie and how they could not imagine their lives and family without Sadie being a part of it.
After the parents finished, the judge then made a statement while he signed the documents to make the adoption official. This is what he said: “My signing these documents makes this adoption legal, but you are the ones who made Sadie a part of your family." In other words, his signature only ratified the action that had already been taken when the mother and father had opened their hearts, their arms, and their homes to make Sadie their daughter.
So, if you are one of those people who wish deep within your heart that you were born into a Jewish family because you feel left out or unpicked for the “ball team,” please re-read Romans 8:15:
14 For all who are led by the Ruach Elohim, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall again into fear; rather, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Ruach Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. 17 And if children, also heirs—heirs of God and joint-heirs with Messiah—if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. (TLV)
Just as Sadie was chosen to be a complete and total part of her family, you have become totally and completely a part of the family of G-D. You are not left out, unpicked, or the “Un-Chosen people.” This adoption doesn’t make you Jewish and because being Jewish isn’t the goal. The goal is being a child of G-D and part of the Commonwealth of Israel - Ephesians 2:11-13:
11 Therefore, keep in mind that once you—Gentiles in the flesh—were called “uncircumcision” by those called “circumcision” (which is performed on flesh by hand).12 At that time you were separate from Messiah, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.13 But now in Messiah Yeshua, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. (TLV)
6 Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” 7 know then that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8 The Scriptures, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, proclaimed the Good News to Abraham in advance, saying, “All the nations shall be blessed through you.”
For the first time and only for a moment, I, who was born Jewish, felt a little like how I suspect those who say to me, “I wish I was born Jewish,” feel as I listened to the parents and the judge express the significance of adoption and how this family was choosing to make Sadie part of the family by choice, and not simply because a child had been born into the family. I thought to myself, “Hey I was born into the Jewish people, but my non-Jewish brothers and sisters where 'Chosen' to be added to the family by my Father.”
You see, it isn’t about who is the “Chosen People.” It is about how you were “Chosen” because all who are part of the Family of G-D through faith have been “Chosen.”