Monday, May 30, 2016

What About the Jews?

Readings for the Day
Proverbs 13-15, Romans 11

Verses for the Day
28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

We know that Paul's letter is mainly written to the Gentiles, but it is also written to Paul's fellow Jews as well. There is no chapter in the New Testament that has as much teaching on how Jewish people were meant to be part of Jesus' community as Romans 11.

Paul's basic argument is that God's gifts and call are irrevocable. Meaning the original covenant God made with Abraham that he would be a blessing to all nations, was meant both for Abraham's people, the Jews, as well as the Gentiles, or non-Jews. Though Jesus' own people had rejected him, they would still be included by God's grace if they repented. He uses the metaphor of a tree and its branches to illustrate the relationship of salvation to both the Jews and the Gentiles. The Jews, the natural branches were cut off, and a the unnatural branches, the Gentiles were grafted in. But if the unnatural branches could be grafted in, how much more would the natural branches be grafted in if they were to turn back to God and His promises.

So what does this mean? It means God's grace is for all people. Though God chose a particular people through whom to bring His only Son to earth, His goal was to show his life giving mercy to all people. God desires all people to be saved, including the Jewish people he had chosen. The common denominator is that we all have become disobedient, so that God could show all his mercy and grace.

So we can rejoice with all people the common grace we share. This should also keep us humble when we see others who have not yet to come to believe. God has shown mercy to them too, they just need someone to let them know what God has done for them by sending His Son to save them from their sin.

"But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

On Memorial Day, let's remember all of our fallen heroes who gave their lives for us and for our country. Let us also thank the One God sent us so that we could hear the Good News of our salvation. Finally, let us remember the One who gave his life for us on the cross, so that we could be free of sin and death, and live with him forever.

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