Called by Name

HaShem has always had a handpicked Gentile elect, chosen for redemption, called with the nation of Israel.


Jewish Holidays, PassoverApr 19, 2016

PassoverApr 19, 2016


(Image: © Bigstock/Jakub Jirsak)

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The Israelite freedom from Egyptian slavery was a redemption of national proportions. It was not merely an individual salvation plan. The redemption was not solely for an elect few of the Israelite nation, but for the entire nation.

Of course, individuals had the option of withdrawing themselves from the national commonwealth by deciding to remain in Egypt and not participate in the national freedom from bondage, but God’s saving hand was for the entire nation of Israel. Redemption was their promise and their collective “right.”

The salvific plan of God by the redemption that comes through Yeshua is modeled after the Passover sacrifice and the redemption of the children of Israel from Egyptian slavery. Messiah came, as he himself said, for “the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” and his sacrifice, just as the Passover lamb, was for the entire nation of Israel. Israel was not merely saved for Israel’s own sake, but to be God’s conduit of salvation for the entire world. These redemptions in no way exclude the Gentiles; in fact, it was prophesied that Gentiles would choose to include themselves and participate in these redemptions.

Just as in the Israelite exodus from Egypt, the Passover sacrifice is a gift of redemption to all who will accept the call. It is foretold that those among the nations would throw in their lot with Israel and with the Jewish Redeemer and follow the God of Israel (e.g., Genesis 12:3, 22:18; Isaiah 42:4, 51:5, 60:9-10, 66:18-21; Jeremiah 16:19, etc.). This occurred at the exodus Passover, when free Egyptians chose to leave their lives of luxury to follow the God of Israel and sojourn with the wandering Hebrews. This also occurred after the Messiah’s sacrifice at Passover, when so many among the nations gave up their ways of life to follow the Jewish Messiah.

Every physical descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is born into the covenant, whether we like it or not. Every Jew is “called,” every Jew is obligated to take hold of this redemption. It is in the bold print of our contract—our covenant—with HaShem.

However, with the Gentiles it is different. Very different. And in some senses the call on Gentiles could be considered to be even more grand. The Gentiles are not called by nation, they are called by name.

Each and every Gentile believer was not called by God because of their physical lineage and association with the patriarchs. They were not called because God made a covenant with their forefathers that they broke but he has upheld. They were called, and saved, by grace, individually and by name. This means that every Gentile disciple who has ever lived had his or her specific name on the heart and mind of God. HaShem did not pick the entirety of the Greek nation as his covenanted people; rather, he went through and specifically handpicked his disciples, his children, his chose ones, from among all the Greeks, and he has done the same among every nation under heaven.

We can, of course, recognize that every Jew who has come to know that Yeshua is the Messiah has been able to do so only because of HaShem’s grace, and because HaShem specifically made a way. But every Jew is called to this faith and salvation. Every Jew is meant to benefit from it, and every Jew, as Paul says, will ultimately be saved in the end, at the return of Messiah. Those of us who are believing Jews are the remnant that is to sanctify the rest of our nation. However, this is expected of us. The entire nation of Israel is to be as us: the remnant of the whole earth, sanctifying the entire world and bringing HaShem’s redemption to all mankind. It is expected of us communally and nationally. However, the glory of the Gentile believers is that HaShem individually handpicked them for the task of being redeemed and participating in bringing redemption. It was not expected of their entire nation, but it is now expected of them specifically as individuals and faithful disciples.

Some Gentiles are remorseful over not being descended from the patriarchs. They most certainly should not be. Not only is their descent cherished by God, but HaShem has intentionally called them by their personal names to be a conduit of that divine light.

As we come into the time of Passover, Jews and Gentiles celebrating the exodus from Egypt together, those of us who are Jewish must remember that we were once there, leaving Egypt by God’s mighty hand and outstretched arm. We must also remember that we did not leave alone, but with those faithful Gentiles who were handpicked by name, by God’s grace, to share in our redemption. Just as there were Gentiles participating with us in the Passover redemption, so too, are there Gentiles with us participating in the Messiah’s redemption. For God has always had a Gentile elect, chosen to travel with and live alongside the nation of Israel.

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About the Author: Jordan Levy is a staff writer for First Fruits of Zion and Vine of David where she also serves by translating from Hebrew, French, and Italian into English. She is dedicated to strengthening her community and providing linguistic and theological teaching. More articles by Jordan Levy

Related Resource

Grafted In, Book

What does it mean to be “grafted in” to Israel, and where did Paul get that idea in the first place? Grafted In explores the Jewish theology behind the Pauline inclusion of the Gentiles and considers what it means to be a “Messianic Gentile.” Easy to read and inspiring, this book is an important correction for the Messianic identity crisis and an encouragement for Jewish and Gentile believers both. Available in eBook and Book formats.

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