During the days of Yeshua, the Jewish leaders were under a Roman occupation; they were afraid that their way of life and nation would be destroyed as the Romans sought to assimilate them into their empire. Scripture records a comment from the ruling Jewish council, “If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.” (John 11:48) This comment was in response to reports of miracles done by Yeshua, which highlights their overriding fear, even though the miracles were not disturbing the Roman whatsoever. Even when Yeshua was brought before Pilot, the Roman ruler was ambivalent toward Yeshua and was merely seeking to please the Jewish leaders and their mob.
It is still true today, fears (often unjustified) drive many issues that concern us and our leaders. For example, is China really an imminent threat to America? They are ruled by Communists, but it is estimated that there are over 100 million devout Christians in China, which might make it a more Christian nation than America. Should we fear people who follow the Prince of Peace as we do? However, Israel had a much better reason to trust that their way of life and nation would endure beyond the Romans. It is true that they had previously been conquered and exiled from their lands, but their identity as Jews/Hebrews had remained intact each time. Through captivity in Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Rome, and most recently their dispersion across the world has never destroyed the Israeli identity.
Nations have come and gone, but Israel has endured like no other. One could say their traditions and religion have unified them, but there is a more compelling reason. “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,” declares the Lord, “will Israel ever cease being a nation before me.” This is what the Lord says: “Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done,” declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 31:36-37) God’s promises are immutable and reliable, therefore, we need not fear they will fail. His promise, fulfilled in 1948, that Israel would be restored as a nation in their land was another promise kept. ( Ezekiel 36:24; 38: 25)
If Israeli leaders understood this they might turn away from their fear of Christianity, which is simply the acceptance by people from all ethnicities that the Israeli, Yeshua, was and is the Jewish Messiah as foretold in the Torah and prophets. History does include many horrible acts against Jews by some proclaiming allegiance to Yeshua, but those crimes had nothing to do with Yeshua or true Christianity. These heinous acts in history may contribute to some peoples fear today. Yet, it is interesting that Israeli’s can believe and follow any religious belief, including eastern religions, atheism and agnosticism and still be considered a Jew, but when one assert belief that Israel’s Messiah was and is Yeshua, a Jew from Nazareth, born in Bethlehem from the tribe of Judah, they are said to no longer be an Israeli. I think this is the same unreasonable fear that existed in Yeshua’s day. Moreover, fundamental Christians have become one of the best friends Israel has recently had.