The Jewish people, from the days of the prophets to today, searched for the Messiah. The Savior came into the world, but they failed to recognize Him. He came to His own, and they rejected Him.
Why? It’s a mystery.
There were some, a select few, who believed. They walked with Him, spoke His language, and became His disciples. From town to town, He preached the good news, healed the sick, and delivered the demon possessed. Yet, still the Jewish people rejected Him. The doors are wide open for the rest of the world to enter so great a salvation.
It’s a mystery.
Immanuel, the Messiah, came to save the lost.
Those who accepted Him became the children of the Most High God—redeemed, reconciled, and born-again. Sadly, the Jewish people are still looking for the Messiah and reject the Son of God, Christ Jesus our Lord.
And then, speaking of Israel: “All day long did I spread out My hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.”Romans 10:21 Phillips
There’s a Remnant
As we continue our journey through Romans, we pause here in Chapter 11 to ask, “Has God totally rejected His people?”
God, who is faithful, is always faithful. Paul reminds us that he too, is a Jew and redeemed. It is unthinkable that God would totally give up on His own people. Their destiny has always been in the Lord God Almighty. There is a remnant. God has set apart for Himself those who are saved, being saved, and will be saved.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever.Galations 1:3-5
God’s grace and perfect love have not been removed from the Jewish people. He has kept for Himself a remnant that has not bowed down to the lie or looked for another Savior.
Bottom line, it’s a matter of the heart.
Whoever approaches God must approach Him in faith, believing. Through faith, they are redeemed and by faith they are saved—rescued from the present evil age. Never in the history of the Jewish people did the entire nation walk true to God. The hard-hearted, dull, and insensitive will not find God. It’s a matter of the heart.
All is not lost.
Someday, they too will enter into so great a salvation. The redeemed of the Lord will sing praises to the King for the fullness of His love and the beauty of His salvation. The Messiah is the Savior of the world—first to the Jews and then the Gentiles.
…by their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel jealous. Now, if their transgression brings riches for the world, how much more will their fullness bring? … For if their rejection brings reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? … And if the root is holy, so are the branches.(Romans 11:11b-12 & 15-16b)
Their failure is our gain
Sadly, those who rejected Christ were cut off, but we are grafted in. We have become children of God! Because of this, we can enjoy the promises and riches of God. We, like wild branches, have been attached to the healthy tree with its roots deep down into the rich earth.
Their failure benefited us, and defection gave us a tremendous opportunity to enter God’s plan for salvation. Without their rejection, we would still live in the darkness and there would never be a religion called Christianity.
But now there’s a word of warning to us. Careful, careful, oh grafted branches that you too not stumble and fall into the same error of unbelief. Remember, what has been grafted can be broken off. So, dear Christian, stand firm in the faith. Remain in God’s grace and daily enter His peace. You do not support the Root—the Root supports you.
The branches broken off to make room for us can easily be returned. As many as believe—truly accept Christ as Savior, will return. The righteous (Jew or Gentile) live by faith.
God still has plans for His people.
God’s hand on the hard-hearted of the Jewish people is merely temporary. It will last only until the full number of Gentiles have entered. Once that happens, Israel will be saved. The Lord God who promised deliverance will bring it to pass. He has not forgotten His people. Just as in the past, we were disobedient and hard-hearted to God, but found mercy, so too will the Jewish people.
Someday, we will all share in the mercy extended to us. It’s a mystery, and like all mysteries, it belongs to the Lord.
So let’s look at this with clear eyes:
As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.Romans 11:28-27
The hardening of the Jewish heart is not total or permanent. It serves a purpose. When that purpose is complete, the partial hardness will be removed.
In order that we might enter into God’s universal plan for salvation, God’s people became enemies of God. They were hostile to God and refused His offer. They are under a cloud of displeasure. Yet nothing, absolutely nothing, can alter the fact that they are God’s chosen people—sons and daughters of the promise.
They’ve fought a long and hard battle against God, and they still do. But God’s pursuing love will never be suspended or removed.
So, salvation was offered first to the Jews and then to the rest of us. Neither Jew nor Gentile can ever be saved except through the mercy and grace of God. Let us stand in humble awe and fear God, for He is most absolutely Sovereign. Let us continue in our faith, for the Lord, your God, is with you.
I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: the righteous will by faith.Romans 1:16-17
Call to Action
Praise the Lord for so great a salvation, and pray for the Jewish people for open eyes and soft hearts.