How easy it is for us to forget the root from which we have come as believers in Israel's Messiah. How little thought we give to Israel and the promise of her destiny and calling in the history of God's purpose. How good it is to know that God has not utterly rejected his people but has yet more kindness to show those who have spurned His unfailing love. Sadly, the church historically has often treated the Jews as if they have been totally rejected by God and that we are somehow superior, forgetting that it is only by faith that we ourselves stand before God. What is ours by God's sheer kindness should never be used as grounds for selfish boasting. This passage is a strong reminder not to become smug or careless about our place in the saving purposes of God. The church in Rome was made up mainly, it seems, of Gentile converts who were in danger of boasting over 'those branches that have been broken off' - unbelieving Israel. Paul reminds them that it was through Israel's loss that the riches of Christ have come to them. Not only that, but when Jews are made jealous by seeing the benefits of Gentiles receiving their Messiah, God is able to graft them in again and 'how much greater riches will their fullness bring!' Here is the miracle of God's grace travelling full circle!
John DUNKLEY BTh, Dip.Min. and Dip. Pastoral Studies. He is an ordained Baptist minister and has pastored a number of Baptist churches. He has also ministered at Westcare Baptist Mission - an inner city ministry and served as a voluntary Police Chaplain.