Daily Readings and Thought for February 1st. “God has power to graft them in again”


Paul’s reasoning in his letter to the Romans in chapter 11 today seemed to us highly significant in its reference to God’s eventual mercy toward the Jews. Paul explains that a principle effect of the Jew’s failure to recognize their Messiah was that God’s message went out to non-Jews, that is, the Gentiles.  Paul describes the Jews as God’s Olive Tree (v.17-20) and writes, “some of the branches were broken off because of their unbelief” [v.20].  To replace them branches were “cut from a wild Olive Tree” [v.24] and grafted in.  Then Paul makes the vital point – Gentile believers, the replacement branches,  must “stand fast through faith.  So do not become proud, but stand in awe.  For it God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.” [v.21,22]

Will God graft the natural branches, the Jews, back in again? Well, Paul says, “God has power to graft them in again” [v.23].  How could that happen? Well, first we noted that Paul warns the Gentiles not to “be wise in your own conceits … a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” [v.25].  

We also noted v.30-31 as being very significant, “Just as you (Gentiles) were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their (the Jews) disobedience, so they (the Gentiles) too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may receive mercy.”

The point is, the Gentiles had done nothing to deserve the mercy in having the message of the Gospel offered to them.  By the same principle, God can and will stir the hearts of the Jews in our days with the wonder of the return of Christ; for God’s words through Zechariah will be fulfilled, “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn …” [Ch.12 v.10]

What about us? Well, we have the wonder of the Bible to stir our hearts, but so many are distracted by fleshly pursuits.   What are we really doing in our lives to show that we are a living part of God’s Olive Tree?

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