Romans 11:11-12, 17-18
Ingrafted Branches—Jews and Gentiles unite in their love of God and in obedience to Christ.
11 So I ask: did God’s people (Jews) stumble and fall off the deep end? Absolutely not! They are not lost forever; but through their misconduct, the door has been opened for salvation to extend even to the outsiders. This has been part of God’s plan all along, and so is the jealousy that comes when they realize the outsiders have been welcomed into God’s new covenant. 12 So if their misconduct leads ultimately to God’s riches coming to the world and if their failure turns into the blessing of salvation to all people, then how much greater will be the riches and blessing when they are included fully?
17 Imagine some branches (Jews) are cut off of the cultivated olive tree and other branches of a wild olive (which represents all of you outsiders) ) are grafted in their place. You are nourished by the root of the cultivated olive tree. 18 It doesn’t give you license to become proud and self-righteous about the fact that you’ve been grafted in. If you do boast, remember that the branches do not sustain the root—it is the system of roots that nourishes and supports you.
In our passage today, Paul is speaking to Gentile Christians (non-Jews) and he wants them to gain a proper perspective as to why God rejected some Jews. Abraham connected with God through faith; this was essential to enjoying life in the grace and favor of God. However, during Paul’s time and even before, God’s people fell into faithlessness; without faith it is impossible to please God. Whether we are Jews or Gentiles we were created to share the nourishment from the Tree of Life. As Gentiles, we are ingrafted into the Tree because of our faith in the work of Jesus Christ. However, please do not think God has abandoned his plan for the Jews to be nourished from the Tree, too. God in his mercy just gave time to the Gentiles to come to faith, before awakening the Jews to the reality of the Christ—their Messiah who came and died for their sins, as well. May we pray for us all—Jews and Gentiles—to come to faith and abide in a thriving relationship with God through his love and grace.
Prayer: Father, I pray for your precious people—the Jews—to come to faith in Jesus Christ. As well, I pray for people from all nations to come to faith in Jesus Christ. We all need Jesus; we cannot even come to you without him. Thank you for sending your Son, so I could know you and choose to live for you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.