Psalm 72-73 Romans 9:1-15
“I wish I could help my Jewish brothers and sisters, my people. I would even wish that I were cursed and cut off from Christ if that would help them. They are the people of Israel, God’s chosen children. They have seen the glory of God, and they have the agreements that God made between himself and his people. God gave them the law of Moses and the right way of worship and his promises. (Romans 9:3-4 NCV)
It would be easy to read what Paul wrote to this point and think that he and God had turned their back on the Jewish people. As this chapter begins, Paul told his listeners an important truth: the Jews are still God’s chosen people and, his love for his brothers and sisters of his people was so great that he would give up his salvation if it meant that they would turn to Jesus. If there was no other reason to love the Jewish people, we should remember that Jesus was born into a Jewish family for His earthly home.
Paul undoubtably knew the curse that the religious leaders had called down upon themselves when they appeared before Pilate. Perhaps he was one of those who shouted “His [Jesus’s] blood be upon us and our children.” There are some Christians, to their shame, who’ve taken those words as reason to hate people because they’re Jewish. They use these words of the Jewish leadership as justification for their anti-Semitism and hatred of all people Jewish, even those who would never have done anything to hurt Jesus. They might quote Paul’s words from any other part of the Bible, especially talking about the grace of God. leaving these words from Romans 9 out of their equation. The truth is that there is never any justification for hating anyone based on God’s word, especially the people chosen by God to receive the Law and be the host to the Messiah. If we believe the words of John 3:16 that God loved the [whole] world that ANYONE who believes in Him might have eternal life and we understand Jesus forgiving those who played a part in His crucifixion, no one, no matter how evil, is beyond the reach of God’s love. There are many actions in this world to become indignant about – actions that arouse our righteous indignation. Sometimes these actions are so reprehensible that the perpetrators must answer for them in a court of law. God still loves even these people. Hate may be a valid human emotion, but if your religious beliefs call for, or allow you to hate any person at any time, it’s not the gospel of grace that Jesus died on the cross to bring.
Lord, let me, let all Your people be an oasis of love and forgiveness in a world of hate and revenge. Only light, only love can drive out darkness and hate.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved