One, two, three? The answer varies, depending on your perspective: What may surprise you is that the Star of David is NOT really a distinct symbol in and of itself.. Hmmm...
Most people readily recognize that the Star of David, the national symbol of Israel, is apparent in the symbol. However, what is less intuitive is that the Star of David is NOT an additional or separate part of the overall symbol.... it is rather MADE by the combination of two other symbols.
So what is there to be learned from this, and why should it excite you??? Consider what Paul, a Hebrew of Hebrews himself, says:
Ephesians 2:11-22 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh--who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands-- 12that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
You see, God has made ONE NEW MAN from TWO distinct parts.... Jewish and Gentile believers in ONE BODY of MESSIAH.. Many in the Church today feel that "we Gentiles" as the Church have somehow replaced national Israel and the Jewish people in terms of the covenant promises of God... and this has in turn affected how many read and interpret the Bible in regard to Israel.
So why does this symbol have anything to do with that?? The Evangelical Press News Service (EP) released an article in July of 1999 that quoted the following:
A Messianic Seal from the Christian
church in ancient Jerusalem has been rediscovered after 2,000 years. This
ancient symbol was found on Mount Zion. It is believed to have been
created and used by the Jewish believers who called themselves Nazarenes
in the first Messianic Church. Three companies -- Olim Creative Products of Tiberias, News About Israel (NAI) of Jerusalem, and Christian Floral
Delivery of Colorado -- jointly announced the discovery of this ancient symbol, which
has been copyrighted by NAI. It consists of three separate but integrated symbols: a
menorah at the top, a star of David in the middle, and a fish at the bottom. In each of the renditions of the three-part symbol the star is created by interlacing
the stand of the menorah with the tail of the fish. The
Messianic Seal was found etched or inscribed on eight ancient artifacts.
The artifacts were presented to Ludwig Schneider, editor in chief of NAI's
magazine Israel Today, in 1990. They came from Tech Otecus, an elderly
monk who lived as a hermit in the Old City of Jerusalem. Otecus said that
in the 1960's he had personally excavated about 40 artifacts bearing the
Messianic Seal from an ancient grotto located in the immediate vicinity of
the Upper Room on Mount Zion.
on what he characterized as the "monumental importance" of this
archaeological discovery, Fischer said, "Beyond the historical
background of the Nazarenes, the first Jewish believers who founded the
Jerusalem Church, the Messianic Seal itself proclaims to the world the
pervasive Jewishness of Jesus Christ and the decidedly Jewish foundation
and roots of the church founded in His name. The Messianic Seal of the
Jerusalem Church," Fischer continued, "strikes at the very roots
of anti-Semitism while proclaiming a compelling message that restores
unity: Jew with Jew, and Jew with Gentile. The importance of this
discovery cannot be minimized. The Messianic Seal is not only just the key
to understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls, it can and should shake the
foundations of the church and orthodox Judaism with its incredible message
of unity and love. It breaks down barriers that have existed for millennia
and points the way toward restoration."
Yes, this symbol does give us an understanding, visually, of how the EARLY
church viewed itself. When we understand that this was a
prominent SYMBOL for Messianic followers of Jesus (as opposed to the more
modern Christian use of the fish by itself), we may infer their
understanding that Gentile
believers were grafted into and were spiritually a part of Israel by means of faith
in Yeshua of Nazareth, the Son of God. Instead of just the Jewish
people being the "covenant" people of God (i.e. ISRAEL), now
BOTH Jewish and Gentile believers in the Messiah could be part of the SAME FAMILY of FAITH, the SAME
INHERITANCE, and the SAME OLIVE TREE by the CROSS. Paul
says that we (Gentiles) have been BROUGHT NEAR by the blood of Messiah...
we are no longer STRANGERS and FOREIGNERS of the household of God (the
Children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). Now, we are fellow citizens
that are being fitted into the holy temple that is founded upon the
prophets, apostles, and Jesus the Messiah Himself (who, if you have not taken
the time to notice, are ALL Jewish).
We as Gentile believers in the Jewish Messiah have been BROUGHT NEAR,
MADE MEMBERS of the COMMONWEALTH of ISRAEL (the HOUSEHOLD OF GOD), by our
faith in Jesus. Jewish believers in the Jewish Messiah have been
BROUGHT to true fulfillment of the LAW by their faith in Jesus as
well. Both groups (as Paul says further in Romans) are under the
condemnation of sin and both groups need salvation by faith in Jesus, the
Messiah, based on His atoning work. We are one family now by this common
faith-- what Paul also calls the "One New Man". It is the ONE NEW MAN that this symbol of the
"early" (predominantly Jewish) church so
clearly illustrates. We as Gentiles believers have become a PART of
the same heritage that Israel has... our spiritual roots are NOT in Rome,
Tulsa, Colorado Springs, or Constantinople... IT IS IN JERUSALEM!