Friday, Jan. 8
I’m a Jew. I’ve never been called a Jew, although it would not offend me. I don’t look like a Jew. In the eyes of Jewish people, I’m a Gentile. But after studying Romans 9 in our Sunday School class, I can say that I am a Jew. The problem of Rom. 9 is that God promised Abraham that the whole world would be blessed by his descendants. This promise was passed on to Isaac, then Jacob, and then expanded to include all descendants of Jacob’s twelve sons. The fulfillment of this promise is the redemptive work of Christ on the cross and the preaching of the gospel throughout the world. The problem was the fact that the majority of the Jews in Paul’s day rejected their own Messiah. Paul took his position on this from Jesus who told the Jewish leaders that their father was not Abraham, but Satan. Paul says in Rom. 9:6-8 “It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are the descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’ In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.” Both Ishmael and Esau were descendants of Abraham, but were not children of promise. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel, an indication that all his descendants were by genealogy within the camp of the “promised.” So we still have a problem. Paul resolves the issue by declaring that children of promise are those who are spiritual descendants, not necessarily genealogically children. Those who accept Jesus as their substitute and are saved are spiritual descendants of Abraham and those who have not accepted Christ are spiritual Ishmaels and Esaus. So I’m a Jew and grateful to God for the title.