We then hear Paul lamenting over his own people’s disbelief. They do not believe because they have been ingrained into that old way of following the Law in order to be acceptable to God. They focus on their performance of keeping the Law vs having Faith in Jesus to be righteous. Thankfully, even when we humans are faithless, we can count on God always being Faithful. So Paul talks about an Olive Tree. This Tree is Jesus. We Gentiles are considered wild branches, that is, we were not originally under God’s Grace, but now, through Faith we are grafted into Jesus. We become His, and begin to live a life that reflects this change within us. Then Paul says, if God can do that for the wild branch, why can’t He do that for the original, natural branches too? Paul has Faith that God, Who knows everyone’s heart, will bring back those who really belong to God. Paul may not know the how and when, but is confident in God to be Faithful to His people, Israel.
Again the heart of the matter is always a matter of the heart. Paul says, “It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.” (Ro 9:6) For now the Jew’s rejection of Jesus is causing the Gospel to spread to all the nations of Gentiles. But then God will not forget His people. Listen again to Paul, “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.” (Ro 11:25-26) In the meantime, believers and followers of Jesus must learn to love everyone. Love is what unifies us. Love is what displays God to the world. Love is what life is all about.
2023’s Got A Minute? Book Club
January: The Bible
<>< Peace, Diane