But I don’t want to go on about them. It’s you, the outsiders, that I’m concerned with now. Because my personal assignment is+ focused on the so-called outsiders, I make as much of this as I can when I’m among my Israelite kin, the so-called insiders, hoping they’ll realize what they’re missing and want to get in on what God is doing. If their falling out initiated this worldwide coming together, their recovery is going to set off something even better: mass homecoming! If the first thing the Jews did, even though it was wrong for them, turned out for your good, just think what’s going to happen when they get it right! (Romans 11:13-15)
There was a time when the Church hated the Jews—in fact, even today some sects despise the Jewish nation—but how foolish could we be? If it wasn’t for them, we would not have been allowed into God’s Kingdom. Our task is to help bring them back to their Covenant-making God. What a turn-around! Their task was to make the world jealous—to cause the world to see their God as the God of blessings and life. Do you see that? We were to see the nation of Israel and to jealously desire their God, to be our God. We were to see El Shaddai—the God who is sufficient for the needs of his people, and desire their God to satisfy our needs. We were to see Jehovah Elohim—the Eternal Creator, and have him create wonders in our lives. We were to see Jehovah-Jireh—the God their Provider, as the God that provides for us. We were to see Jehovah-Ropheka—The Lord their Healer, and allow the same to God to heal us. The world was to look at the nation of Israel and say, “Please tell us what we need to do to have your God, be our God.”
You don’t agree with me? Why did God send Jonah to Ninevah? He was sent to preach salvation and deliverance to them! When Egypt was blessing the nation of Israel, they prospered and grew. Isaiah 49:6 declares they were given as a light to the Gentiles.
Behind and underneath all this there is a holy, God-planted, God-tended root. If the primary root of the tree is holy, there’s bound to be some holy fruit. Some of the tree’s branches were pruned and you wild olive shoots were grafted in [that’s us, if you didn’t know—we are just a bunch of wild branches of weeds that God grafted into the vine of his life and nature]. Yet the fact that you are now fed by that rich and holy root gives you no cause to crow over the pruned branches.
Hear that, fellas? We have nothing to brag about, seeing that we are just a bunch of weeds that God allowed to come into the tree of life!
Remember, you aren’t feeding the root; the root is feeding you (Romans 11:16-18)
If interested, you can download the entire study of The Letter to Christians at Rome