When Saul of Tarsus, better know as the Apostle Paul, wrote these words to the Believers in Ephesus, he was referring to the spiritual and cultural divide between Jews and Gentiles that had always existed. That divide, or “middle wall of partition” still exists today, and it is one of the reasons that its difficult to share the good news about Yeshua (Jesus) being the Messiah God promised to Israel.
God commanded the Hebrews, through Joshua when they entered the Promised Land, not to intermarry, do business with or even associate with the heathen nations, because if they did, they would be corrupted to their lifestyles, morals and heathen gods. Scripture show that Israel disobeyed and that is exactly what happened. As the result, Israel turned from God and suffered the consequences.
You can see this great “middle wall of partition” in the Gentile church today! The fact is that Christianity if the fulfillment of Judaism in it’s purest form. Think about it for a moment! Christians worship the God of Israel, believe in the Hebrew scriptures, both Old and New Covenants, which were Written by Jews, about Israel and the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, to a Jewish Readership. What part of that is Gentile?
Everything we believe is Jewish, and yet the Gentiles churches have erased everything Jewish from their appearance, speech, customs and teaching. For a Jew to believe and worship in a Gentile church, they are expected to divest themselves of their Jewishness. But the scripture says that “He”, Jesus, came to break down that “middle wall of partition”, not build it higher.
The churches seem to have forgotten these words of Paul to the church at Rome, “For as you (Gentiles) in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief; Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy”. Romans 11: 30-31
It is interesting to note that the reason Gentiles were able to come to faith what in part due to Israel not believing in Jesus, their own Messiah, and the way God intends for Jewish people to come to faith in Jesus is through their mercy to the Jews. How would you rate our efforts? We send money and prayers to missionaries all over the world, and yet ignore on of the largest mission fields right outside our doors.
The Jews were not able to believe because they were blinded to the truth, but there would always some who would believe, “What then? Israel has not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded” Romans 11:7
But this blindness is only temporary, “ . . . that blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in” Romans 11:25 The “time of the Gentiles” is quickly drawing to a lose in these Last Days, and then God will again turn his focus back to Israel. It is time for Gentile Believers and churches to step up to the plate and begin to show that mercy to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” by knocking down the “middle wall of partition” that still separates us.
Jews today, especially orthodox Jews, prefer to keep their distance from Gentiles, which makes it difficult to engage them in dialog about scripture. Many years ago, as a new believer with a growing love for the Jewish Messiah and the Jewish people, I had a conversation with Clara Rubin, who was a Jewish missionary from the American Board of Missions to the Jews, who had led me to faith. After studying these very verses in scripture, I asked her, “Clara, what then is the best way to share Messiah with Jewish people?” She was quite for a few moments and then she said to me, “Ronnie, do you know why Jews have big noses”? Of course, I tried to tell her that I didn’t think Jews had big noses, but she waved me off and answered. She said, “Because we can smell the love”! “It’s all about the love”
The way to break down the “middle wall or partition” is to chip away at it with the hammer of love. If Gentile believers and Gentile churches would show a genuine love for the Jewish people and their salvation, God will open the door to their hearts and the scales of blindness will fall from their eyes. I want to challenge you to make 2016 the year when us, and the churches show mercy to the “lost sheep of the House of Israel”, reclaim the Jewishness of their faith and fulfill the commandment of Romans 11: 30 - 31.