Ninth Sunday after Pentecost | August 6, 2017
- First reading and Psalm
- Second reading
Romans 9:1-5 | New Living Translation (NLT)
With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it. My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them. They are the people of Israel, chosen to be God’s adopted children. God revealed his glory to them. He made covenants with them and gave them his law. He gave them the privilege of worshiping him and receiving his wonderful promises. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are their ancestors, and Christ himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.
We have a short passage of scripture this week – sorry, several things happened on Friday and Saturday, delaying Friday’s post. Today we look at five verses that Paul writes to the church at Rome.
We know that God gave his original covenant to the people of Israel – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Paul is himself a Jew. He weeps for his people – the Jews. Paul knows that they are the chosen people of God – the Holy Spirit confirmed it in his heart, but the people of Israel are not following after Jesus. Paul even makes mention that Jesus was a Jew as far as his human nature was concerned. God did everything possible to make the Jewish people his people and yet the Jewish people rejected him. They rejected God and they rejected Jesus. Paul’s heart weeps for where he knows they should be – he would do anything to save his Jewish brothers and sisters – even to be cut off from Christ himself. This is quite a love that Paul has for the Jewish people. Remember, at one point in Philippians, he calls himself a Hebrew of Hebrews. If there was anyone who could brag about being a Hebrew it was Paul and yet he says he would give it all up to know Christ. Here he states he would give up his own life if he could save the Jewish people whom he loved.
Oh to have a love for people that we would be willing to give up our very lives that they might be saved. Yes, I know that’s not possible, because we are not Jesus. We are not the sinless sacrifice. Our desire at McCrae Brook is to make Jesus known so that they can come to a full salvation. I am thankful to the ones who sense the vision that God is placing on my heart. Lord give me a love for people the way Paul had a love for the people.