I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, 4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all,forever praised! Amen.
Israel Has So Much
Paul is sincere that his membership in the Jewish people-group means the world to him. He has an affinity with the nation of Israel which runs so deep that he claims the Holy Spirit as a witness to the fact that he would die for them.
What is so special about being Jewish? They were the first people to be taken under God’s wing as children of God. God has shown his glory through them throughout history. God made agreements with the people of Israel which we call covenants. The covenants are codified in the laws that Israel received. The laws show the perfection of God and let people know how he is best served. The sacred space of the temple was a blessing from God, along with its associated rites of worship.
The patriarchs are Jewish – the foundation of all true faith, historically, is Jewish. There is much to be celebrated about being Jewish, and all this is affirmed by me, and I am a Gentile. I feel no anger, jealousy or resentment toward the people of Israel because God has loved them first. I feel a respect for them because of this. However, the promises that God has made to Israel are fulfilled in Christ in many ways. I have inherited the blessings of many of the promises. However, in my understanding, Israel still has a privileged position with God. He is not done with them yet, and the whole world will be blessed through Israel.
Dear God, bless your people Israel. Let them see the full nature of their calling. May they read and understand Paul, one of their own, and may they join the ranks of the Messianic Jewish community who have the best of both worlds.
- Who does Paul call upon to witness his sincerity?
- What does he want his Jewish readers to know?
- Why do his Jewish readers need to know these things?
- How do you approach Jewish people?
- How can Paul be an example of how to treat Jewish people?