God’s oldest friends ...

I want to lay all this out on the table as clearly as I can, friends. This is complicated. It would be easy to misinterpret what’s going on and arrogantly assume that you’re royalty and they’re just rabble, out on their ears for good. But that’s not it at all. This hardness on the part of insider Israel toward God is temporary. Its effect is to open things up to all the outsiders so that we end up with a full house. Before it’s all over, there will be a complete Israel. ... From your point of view as you hear and embrace the good news of the Message, it looks like the Jews are God’s enemies. But looked at from the long-range perspective of God’s overall purpose, they remain God’s oldest friends. God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty—never canceled, never rescinded. -Romans 11:25-26, 28-29 MSG

Over the centuries, since Paul first penned this epistle, many have looked upon Christianity as a European religion with headquarters in Rome. As the apostle writes, it is easy to look at the resistance of Jews to the gospel and misinterpret what is going on. As he says, it is complicated. We should not judge what is going on by external reactions but join with believers in every nation in hoping that the hearts of ethnic Israel will be softened to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We who know Christ must never forget that our savior came from Jewish roots - his mother, father and grandparents were all Jewish. We owe such a great debt to the faithfulness of the Jewish remnant that nurtured the message of Christ and preserved it in the scriptures. It is so easy to allow ourselves to see the Jews in the light of the unbelieving Pharisees and forget that all of the apostles were Israeli. Let us not forget that they remain God’s oldest friends.

Father, I am so moved that your gifts and your call are under full warranty—never canceled, never rescinded.
Cause me to always live remembering that that you will never leave or forsake me. Help me to be faithful.

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