Lord, I believe that You are the only Messiah God sends for Jew and Gentile alike.
Read Romans 9:30—10:21
30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:
“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall,
and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”
10 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
“Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.”
19 Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says,
“I will make you envious by those who are not a nation;
I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.”
20 And Isaiah boldly says,
“I was found by those who did not seek me;
I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”
21 But concerning Israel he says,
“All day long I have held out my hands
to a disobedient and obstinate people.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace” (Eph. 6:15, NRSV).
To Paul’s great sorrow, many of his fellow Jews had failed to recognize their Messiah (1). The One prophesied as the foundational stone of God’s new Temple of the Holy Spirit has come across as a stumbling stone instead, because their eyes were focused on the Law of Moses. The purpose of the Law, however, was to point them to Christ, “the culmination of the law” (4). The way to a right standing with God was not a personal diligence to observe the Law but faith in him. Gentiles were becoming part of God’s covenant people through faith, while many Jews were missing out.
In verses 6–8, Paul quotes Deuteronomy 30:11–14, a chapter studied carefully in those days by Jews looking for God’s restoration of Israel. Despite their stumbling, Christ was still near. His message was still available to them. It required only faith in him as risen Lord (9,10). The Gospel is still universally available (12,13). It is the church’s responsibility to preach it. We are a commissioned people, sent (15) with the Good News. We must preach the Gospel of Christ, because faith comes through what is heard (17). The tragedy is that not all respond with faith (16), be they Jew or Gentile. Further quotations (18–21) show that their lack of responding in faith corresponds with what is written in Scripture.
Paul’s struggle with his people’s failure to respond to the Gospel did not permit Gentile Christians back then, nor any Christians today, to develop an attitude of superiority. In many western countries there are few today who respond, even though the Gospel has impacted our nations for centuries. We are challenged to feel the same pain as Paul and to have the same determination to continue preaching the Gospel, convinced that God remains true to his promises.
Who do I know who has not heard or properly understood the Good News? Might God be sending me to them, or even to people I don’t yet know?
Lord, I know that You have commissioned me as a herald for the Good News of salvation. Thank You for this privileged position. Help me to fulfill it properly.