by: Matt Alexander
In Romans 9 Paul begins a powerful discourse relating to the people of Israel. His opening words relay the passion behind the pen. He has great anguish in his heart for his kinsmen. In fact, in verse 3 Paul goes so far as to wish himself cut off from the Gospel for the sake of his Jewish, unbelieving brethren. As we closely examine the context of Paul's teaching we see that he is revealing the hard truth that Israel has been the first recipients of grace and yet they have missed it. Verses 4-5 give an exhaustive list of the blessings of God upon Israel - all leading up to Jesus himself. And yet, Paul's anguish comes from the fact that they did not receive God's gracious bounty. They took the provisions of God as personal blessings of superiority instead of blessings of eternal salvation meant for all people.
It would be easy for us to point the finger and cast shame at Israel for not understanding that the blessings of God were meant to point them to the Messiah. We must be careful, though, lest we do the same. How often do we pass over the blessings of God? How many times do we open the text of scripture and then continue on with life as we know it? How often do we miss Jesus on a daily basis?
I fear that many of us miss Jesus just like the Israelites have missed Jesus. I read a "scholarly" article last week which stated that the Old Testament is really not about Jesus. Brothers and sisters, IT'S ALL ABOUT JESUS! Your life today is about Jesus. The decisions you make will either bring God glory or promote your own selfish ends. If you bear the name of Christ then you have a new position in life and that position is all about Jesus.
Today, don't let the blessings of God lead you to prideful superiority. Instead, let them lead you to your knees as you worship the only one worthy - the Savior of your sin. Get in the Word of God. Put your faith in action. Share the Gospel. And remember above all - JESUS!