Yes, the truth is that Jesus offers you and I the only way to get to Heaven. But he is standing with his arms wide open to everyone. His gift of grace is available to all, no exceptions.
The Old Testament is mainly focused on the history of God’s chosen people – the Israelites who became the Jews. Yet, even in the beginning of the Old Testament, we see evidence of God’s ultimate plan to offer salvation to everyone. God directs Abraham to circumcise all males in his household, “Whether born in your household or bought with your money (slaves), they must be circumcised.” Genesis 17:13. I see this as a kind of ‘branding’ of God’s people.
God’s promise to Abraham was that he would bless him and ‘greatly increase your numbers.’ God promised to make Abraham fruitful. God promised that he would have a unique relationship with Abraham and with all of Abraham’s descendants for the generations to come.
This circumcision sign was not limited to Abraham’s blood relatives. I can imagine that Abraham had male slaves of all sizes and shapes and colors and God clearly indicated that they all had a part in his promise.
They didn’t know then but God knew that he was sending his son, Jesus, to save all people who would put their faith in him. And those people would become Abraham’s children by faith – Children of the Promise. I’m one of Abraham’s children because I have put my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior.
Are you a Child of the Promise?
On a related note – some women get all itchy about ‘men’ being specifically talked to in the Bible. I’m a female but I’m clear about how God feels about me and I know God is speaking to me through his word, even when the Bible says ‘men’. It’s also clear in the New Testament how much Jesus respects and appreciates and loves the women in his life. There’s nothing to get itchy about.
On the subject of circumcision which seems like a totally male thing, God expands our thinking when Paul teaches us in Romans in the New Testament that God is looking for is an internal circumcision of the spiritual heart of everyone who puts their faith in Jesus. The circumcision of the heart means our hearts are wide open to God as we love him with all of our hearts, minds and souls.
This circumcision is for all believers – male and female.
I am on a Journey Towards the Truth, reading God’s word every year as my faith in God and trust in him grows. I am branded by a heart sold out to God. My love for God affects everything that happens in my life.
What’s the condition of your heart? Is it wide open to God?
Thank you for your gift of grace which is offered to everyone, Abba Father.