Sunday 11 April, 2021
11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring! 13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the part of the dough offered as first-fruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
In this passage Paul is continuing the theme of the special place God has for his people, Israel. No matter that they had rejected Jesus and therefore the gospel of salvation, Paul’s vision was “that all Israel will be saved” – 11v26. God has not moved onto Plan B, that being his church made up of non Jews, rather he longs for the return of his chosen people.
God never gives up on anyone – anyone. His forgiveness is available to all who confess and trust in Him. The parables told by Jesus about the faithfulness and forgiveness of God have always really spoken to me. The lost sheep and the lost son shout out that God never gives up on me.
This passage reminds me that my God is a God of forgiveness and faithfulness, who loving welcomes me back when I go my own way, not his way.
Dear Lord Jesus, some of your people Israel have been pruned off the tree which is your church. Lord I pray they will be grafted back in, to bring completeness to your church, and joy to your heart. Bless Israel today. Amen
Written by Claire Moore
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