Last time: "Why care about those who have rejected the Messiah?"
I'm continuing on the theme of Romans 9, where Paul is writing of his heart for Israel. He writes, "my grief [for Israel] is so great, the pain in my heart so constant..."
A thought creeps in... "But Paul is Jewish! Of course he is concerned for his people!" But Paul was also an Apostle to us Gentiles, and he is a major model of Christianity. Also, Jesus is Jewish, and wept over lost Israel. If we cannot, even as Gentiles, model ourselves after Christ and Paul, we might as well give up and go follow Zeus or some other pagan god. We are to be in-grafted into the Root of David, this is our identity. The in-grafted branch must not become arrogant.
Ok, so that was a sidetrack. So, this heart for Israel, how does it work? What does it look like to have a heart for Israel? Some say God doesn't love them, because they have rejected Him. Nothing could be further from the truth.
God is jealous for Israel, and he will not give himself rest until he can fully delight himself in them as his people. What is our part in this as Gentiles? We are to be watchmen on their walls, praying for them without ceasing! (Isaiah 62)
We are supposed to remember how we too, were once lost, and without hope, but he has shown us mercy, and extends that same mercy to his people Israel. God has a plan for Israel, and it involves us Gentiles! (Rom 11) This excites me. Maybe I'm odd, but I want to help God get what he desires with such zeal. I think it's a glorious calling, even though it starts with something so mundane and unexciting as prayer.
I might continue on this topic some more, but first, any questions or comments?