The Root is Feeding You

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

 

Isaiah 56:1,6-8
Psalm 67
Romans 11:1-32
Matthew 15:10-28

Does this mean, then, that God is so fed up with Israel that he’ll have nothing more to do with them? MSG This question is in response to the final verse of chapter 10 of Romans.  And then, speaking of Israel: ‘All day long I have stretched out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people’Phillips

Has God turned his back on Israel?

No.

God made several covenants with Israel all of which have been broken by Israel, but not by God. God keeps his promises.

Reading the Church Fathers of the Fourth and Fifth Centuries gives us the sense of the changing attitudes within the church. Ambrosiaster wrote: God has not rejected the inheritance which he promised to the descendants of AbrahamACCS And Theodoret of Cyr wrote: Paul says that, if God had rejected his people, he would have been one of those rejected as wellACCS However, the great Augustine wrote: Only those Jews who have believed in the Lord [that is, Jesus] will be counted as descendantsACCS Within a couple more centuries Jews were being called Christ killers and worse. It is one of worst periods in Christian history; a period lasting to this day.

 In just the same way, there is at the present time a minority chosen by the grace of God. And if it is a matter of the grace of God, it cannot be a question of their actions especially deserving God’s favour, for that would make grace meaninglessPhillips

We are back to Grace. The passage above refers to Jews, but the idea refers to gentile Christians as well. We are all saved by Grace alone. You and I have not earned the right to be saved by the death and resurrection of Jesus. God and Jesus have worked together to rig the scales of justice. Jesus looks at a sinner and says, ‘You’re OK, come into my Father’s Throne Room,’ and God ‘fails’ to see the sin.

There is nothing I can do to earn that privilege. I can accept it or reject it, but I can’t earn it.

When we read the words of Jesus in the Gospels, we see that he often says, ‘your sins are forgiven,’ but only twice does he say, ‘sin no more.’ Jesus was about saving us from sin, not berating us for sinning. Peter committed the grave sin of rejecting Jesus three times publicly, but Jesus gave him three chances to say, ‘I love you,’ John 21:14-19. Just because Peter rejected Jesus (as did most of the other disciples) did not mean that Jesus rejected them.

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. Yet the fact that you are now fed by that rich and holy root gives you no cause to crow over the pruned branches. Remember, you aren’t feeding the root; the root is feeding youMSG

When we are all gathered around the Throne, praising God, we will not care who stands beside us. Red and yellow, black and white, they are all precious in his sight. Too bad we can’t accept that now as well.

 

Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s