Unlimited: Did Israel Not Understand
May 2, 2023 327
Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, “I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding” (Romans 10:19).
Paul is trying to work out why it is that Israel has rejected the Messiah and his Good News. He has previously told us that,
faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ (v.17.)
Paul has ascertained that Israel had received the word about Christ, and had heard it. Yet they did not believe! So, now he is asking, could it be that they hadn’t understood it?
Israel had received the word about Christ, and had heard it. Yet they did not believe!
Paul’s answer is a resounding, “yes!” Israel had understood, yet they had chosen to disobey (See v.21.) Do you remember what Jesus said to the Jewish leaders?
…you refuse to come to me to have life (John 5:40.)
In a way, the Jews believed in “salvation through knowledge.” They were keen students of Scripture (John 5:39.) The fault of the Jewish leaders wasn’t in their lack of understanding. Jesus said that it was in their refusal to come to him for salvation (v.40.) If they were blind, it was because they were wilfully blind.
We can clearly see here that salvation doesn’t come through knowledge. Many Jews had great knowledge and were lost. The Syrophoenician woman (Mark 7:24–30), for example, had very little knowledge and was blessed because of her faith. Salvation comes by accepting Jesus, who brings life.
Understanding is important. It can be a first step. However, salvation does not come through understanding. Salvation comes through trusting in Jesus. In our modern world, we make understanding the most important thing. What role does understanding and faith play in your walk with Jesus?