Unlimited: Salvation Has Come to the Gentiles
May 22, 2023 255
Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious (Romans 11:11b).
After his resurrection, Jesus had instructed his disciples to start with the Jewish people and then to progressively expand their mission of sharing the Good News to the Gentiles:
…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8.)
The subsequent story of the apostolic spread of Christianity shows that it went to the Gentiles after the Jewish people had had an opportunity to accept it, but had rejected it instead (Acts 13:46, 18:5-6, 28:25-28.) Of course, there were always some among the Jewish people who did respond in faith to Christ, just as there were many among the Gentiles who rejected him.
Paul hoped that as the Jews saw the salvation that the Gentiles had received, that they too would repent and turn to Christ.
This is an illustration of the principle that Paul stated in Romans 8:28, that,
we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Paul could see how God could bring some good out of the situation. Paul saw Israel’s rejection of Jesus as having provided the opportunity for the Gospel to go to the Gentiles. He hoped that as the Jews saw the salvation that the Gentiles had received, that they too would repent and turn to Christ.
Paul says that “salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.” Do you know a follower of Jesus who loved the Lord so much and was so full of joy that you wanted that for yourself? That is what Paul meant. Aim to spend more time with that person.