How can the Jews be God’s chosen people if they don’t believe in Jesus?
The key to seeing the Bible’s harmony is to understand that God has a plan that is currently in progress. Yes, Israel is God’s chosen nation and currently does not believe in Jesus. And yes, Jesus is the son of God and faith in him is the only avenue to eternal life. That means either Israel will not receive eternal life, or they will yet have an opportunity to believe in him.
The reason God chose Israel in the first place goes back to their forefather, Abraham. After an act of extraordinary faith (See Genesis 22:1-14), God made a promise to Abraham. It is the foundational promise of God’s plan.
…because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
There are two important things to notice from this passage.
1.) Abraham’s posterity would prosper over all other nations and,
2.) all the nations of the earth would be blessed through Israel, the seed of Abraham.
Neither of these have yet occurred. Israel’s relationship with God has been stormy. When they were faithful to him, they prospered as a people. When they disobeyed and turned to idolatry and unbelief they were punished. Since their rejection of Christ at the First Advent, they have experienced a set time of punishment (Described in Zechariah 9:12). But their time of punishment has ended, and we have seen them restored to their land in fulfillment of prophecy.
This is described in Jeremiah:
Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth… The days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake…But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel… I will put my law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD:’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:8, 31-34)
This wonderful passage speaks of a day when God will make a “new covenant” with Israel. In order for Israel’s relationship with God to be restored, Jews must come to believe in Jesus. The Apostle Paul addressed Israel’s time of alienation from God.
He said, “blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so, all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, ‘There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:’ For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins… For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (Romans 11:25-27, 29)
One of the terms of Israel’s New Covenant will be a belief in Jesus as their Savior. Their unbelief will be turned away as stated by Paul. This will happen as part of the incoming Millennial Age. Israel will then be used to bring blessings to the world, as promised to Father Abraham.
The work of the New Covenant will be to restore the dead world of mankind in the resurrection. This is described in Acts 24:15. “And have hope toward God… that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.”
Israel’s role will be as God’s earthly representatives and seat of government. This is the amazing part of God’s plan that Jesus taught us to pray for. “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
There is a lot to understand, but God’s plan is the answer to this world’s problems. And it is only possible because Jesus was willing to sacrifice his human life as a ransom price for the world.
To learn more about the role if Israel in God’s plan listen to,
“Is Israel a Thorn in the Side of the World?”
“What Did Jesus Say About Israel?”