by HFH Reuvers


In the Old Testament, the bible testifies that God promised the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob a numerous offspring. The most honest one of Jacob's twelve sons was sold to an Egyptian by his jealous brothers, but he eventually became viceroy of Egypt. He forgave his brothers, and these brothers also moved to Egypt. However, by and by, the twelve tribes of Israel became slaves in Egypt. Then Moses gets a vision, in which God asks him to bring the people of Israel back to the promised land. They walk for forty years through the desert, and God gives the Jews the ten commandments and feeds them with manna. We see how they give up and revolt every now and then, and we see them dance around the golden calf, but we also learn that God helps them if they repent. After forty years, the Jews occupy the promised land of milk and honey.

So it's no wonder the Jews call themselves the chosen people. But we'll see later on how this election relates above all to the Son of God, who was born among them. The promised land is a foreshadowing of heaven, and the people of Israel is an image of all mankind. The walk through the desert represents our course of life, and the manna is the bread of life we receive in holy Mass. All these things become clear in the New Testament.

Now when the Jews don't recognize Jesus as the expected Messiah from the tribe of David, and insist their election is exclusive, even after Jesus lived on the earth, they are mistaken. How is it possible they had Jesus in their midst, and they keep denying Him?
In our days, a long time after the diaspora, they have no exclusive right anymore to possess the land of Israel. But like the Palestinians and all people, they are entitled to a life in peace and safety. So we have to find an acceptable solution for the conflict in the Middle East.