Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, August 24, 2023

One In Messiah part 45 – Romans, part 156

Romans 11:13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them.

As I prayed over these verses (in preparing to write about them), I had to inquire of the Lord for several minutes.  Two questions kept swirling.  In what way is Paul the apostle to the Gentiles?  After all, he ministered to Jews a lot.  Then there is Paul’s hope to “save some” Jewish people, but later in this same chapter (see verse 26) he says “all Israel will be saved.”  Which is it, some or all?  Now some clarity.

Paul is given commission to Gentiles through Ananias.  Acts 9:15 But the Lord said to him (Ananias), “Go, for he (Paul) is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.”  Yes, Paul is commissioned to carry Yeshua’s name to Gentiles, but look, it also says “kings and the children of Israel.”  So, while Paul identifies here as the apostle to the Gentiles, he clearly has assignments to kings and to the children of Israel too.  Yeshua’s name is for all people, and Paul is faithful in his ministry to the broad spectrum of peoples.

Paul is also consistent in saying some will be saved through his ministry and (both – and) that all Israel will be saved as the fullness of this present age unfolds.  Paul mentions it several times.  There is the component of jealousy in the salvation of Israel that goes all the way back to the Torah (see Romans 10:19 which quotes Deuteronomy 32:21).

How does Paul seek to make Israel jealous?  First, he points out how Yeshua fulfills the writings of Jewish prophets.  There are so many “this is that” moments, as Yeshua’s ministry is revealed.  Next, Paul illuminates that he and the other followers of Yeshua are living in the fullness of the promised blessings over which non-believing Israel has only been able to hope and pray.

Paul expresses his joy (enjoyment), as he and his fellow believers are experiencing a reality of which Israel (that is Jewish people) have been expecting.  Oh Lord, would you remove the scales from blind eyes, so that seeing they may see the truth that Yeshua is Lord of all, to the glory of God our Father.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Thu 24 Aug 2023 7th of Elul, 5783
De 23:24[25]-24:4 Joel 1 2 Ch 6:1-21 Heb 5 (Jn 21)