About Jesus    Steve Sweetman

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Chapter 9:30 to 10:21

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Israelís Unbelief  (ch. 9:30 to 10:21)


In verses 30 and 31 Paul asks yet another of his lawyerly type questions, but he does so by making a statement.  "What then shall we say?  That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not obtained it?" 


We have two groups of people here.  We have the Gentiles and we have the Jews. We have one righteousness here, but a righteousness that is pursued in two ways.  The Gentiles obtained right standing with God through faith in Jesus while the Jews were attempting to obtain right standing with God through the Law of Moses.  Since the resurrection of Jesus, there is only one right way to obtain righteousness and that is by faith in Jesus.      


Even though Israel pursued righteousness by works, and that was through the Law of Moses, for much of Israel's history Jews did not really follow the Law.  Israel often forsook the Law of Moses and lived as they wanted.  So in one respect, Israel didn't really pursue righteousness, neither by Law or by faith. 


The Jews thought that righteousness would come by all of the good things they did, yet Paul has clearly pointed out earlier in Romans that the real righteousness from God is obtained by trusting in what Jesus has already done on the cross and through His resurrection from death.  We cannot obtain right standing with God through anything we do.  This is proved in the life of Abraham.  Although Abraham did not understand Jesus as we do, or at least I think he didn't, he did trust God.  He did understand that trust, or faith, was the important thing.  Faith was the foundation to his relationship to God.


In verse 32 Paul simply tells us that the Jews pursued righteousness by works and by so doing they stumbled over the stumbling block, which was Jesus.  That is to say, they stumbled over the one that could bring them to right standing with God.   


In verse 33 Paul quotes from Isaiah 8:14 and 28:16  where it says that God laid in Zion a stumbling block and a rock of offence that people would stumble over.  The stumbling block is Jesus.   Peter, in  1 Peter 2:8 quotes this same Old Testament passage.  Paul and Peter both tell us that Jesus is a stumbling block to many, especially to the Jews.  This is so evident in our present day world.  Jesus stands out from all of the religious leaders in history.  His claim to Deity causes many to stumble.  People can accept him as a good and important leader, but Jesus being God, they canít accept.  They stumble over this truth.  Jesus is truly a rock that people stub their toes on and trip over.  Many are offended when you say that there is only one way to God and that is through Jesus.  They say, "how dare you be so dogmatic and intolerant of other ways of thinking." 


In one real sense of the word Christians are exclusive.  We believe that there is only one way to God.  The mentality of our day is to be inclusive and accept all ways of thinking as being equal.  This is not what Paul, nor the rest of the Bible teaches.


Isaiah says that God will lay "in Zion" a stumbling stone
or a rock that offends.  The word "Zion" is in reference to Israel.  
Often in the Old Testament there are many other names used for Israel.  Judah is another example of a name used to represent Israel.  The point to be made here is that Jesus, the stumbling stone, rose up right in the midst of Israel, or Zion.  The Jews stumbled over one of their own people.  As the Apostle John wrote in John 1:10 and 11, "Jesus came unto His own and His own received Him not."    


We should note at this point that God laid in Zion this rock that would cause men to stumble and fall.  God didn't make it easy for Israel.  What He did was offensive to the Jew.  Too often in Evangelical circles we want people saved so bad that we make it too easy for them to get saved.  When we do that, they often don't get saved because we have cut corners with the gospel.  In the end, things are worse than they were in the beginning for them.  Believing you are saved when you're not is one horrible state to be in.  it's sad to say that many religious church goers believe they are saved for a variety of reasons when they are in fact not saved.  One example of this are those who believe they are saved because they were baptized as a baby.  This is not Scriptural.  Baby baptism saves no one.  The blood of these people will be on the hands of the religious leaders who taught this false doctrine of infant baptism


Paul opens chapter 10 as he did chapter 9 by stating his love and desire for his own countrymen, the Israelis, as the NIV puts it.  I should remind you that Paul defines what he actually means by Israel or Israelis in Romans 9:3.   They are Jews.  They are his countrymen.  The word "Israelis" doesn't refer to the church as those holding to Replacement Theology state. 


As verse 1 clearly implies, even though Paul was known as the Apostle to the Gentiles, he wanted Israel and Israelis to find salvation.  That was a fundamental desire of his heart.  This tells me that since he had these desires, the salvation of Israel was still in the mind of God.  If Israel 's salvation wasn't possible then Paul would not have had any desire to see Israel saved.  He would not have even been writing about these things here in Romans.                T


In verse 2 Paul admits that the Jews have a zeal for God, but "the zeal is not based on knowledge."  The Jews did not really understand what their religion was all about.  Yes, there were laws to obey, works to be done, but faith was still fundamental to the works of Law, something the Jews seemed to ignore.   


he very fact that Paul says that the Jews do not have real knowledge would be very offensive to the Jews.  Paul, who I believe was a humble man, did not hold back on speaking what he believed with truth


In verse 3 Paul goes on to say that the Jews did  not submit to Godís righteousness, which we know now is by faith, and really has always been founded upon faith. Paul uses the past tense in this verse, not the present tense.  It's not just that Israelis are forsaking God's righteousness.  They've always forsaken it.  In my mind Paul's underlying presupposition here, because of the past tense, is that righteousness has always been a matter of faith in God.  The simple fact is that one can't obey God if he has no faith, or trust,  in God.                        


The righteousness that the Jews were trying to obtain was by doing good works: by obeying the Law of Moses.  Don't get me wrong.  God wanted the Law of Moses obeyed in Old Testament times, but, now in New Testament times the Law of Moses has taken on a different significance.  That being said, there's more to this than obeying the Law of Moses.  Paul says that the Jews were establishing their own righteousness.  Their own righteousness is seen in all of the rabbinical laws that the leaders of the Jews were forcing on their people. These laws were just as important in a fallen Judaism as the Law of Moses.                 


In verse 4 Paul makes a very important statement.  He says that "Christ is the end of the Law."  In context I believe Paul is speaking of the Law of Moses, not the rabbinical laws.  This statement is not understood by many, if not by most, especially those who today believe we should revert back to obeying the Law of Moses.    


The Greek word "telos" that is translated into English as "end" here means "the point at which a person or thing ceases to be what it is meant to be."  Christ in one real sense of the word has put an end to the Law of Moses.  This is what it means when Paul says that "Christ is the end of the Law".  


Jesus fulfilled all of the reasons why the Law of Moses was in existence as it pertains to salvation and being counted righteous in the sight of God.  In this way the Law of Moses ended.  No longer is righteousness determined by works of the Law.  Our righteousness now comes by trusting Jesus and what He has done for us, both in the way He lived and the way He died, rose from the dead, and returned to Heaven. 


Galatians 3:23 to 26 makes this point clear as well.  "Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the Law, locked up until faith should be revealed.  So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.  Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the Law."  That makes it very clear. 


Let me say once again, that if Godís Law cannot save us, then no man made law will save us.  We are saved solely by what Jesus has done for us.  If we add any man made religious law to being saved, we tell Jesus what He has done for us is not good enough.  We need to add to what He has done to make his work of grace  better than what it is.  I cannot think of a worse sin than that.


When verse 4 says that Christ is the end of the Law, Jesus is the end of the Law for the purpose of salvation.  The Law of Moses still exists, but for other reasons.  The most important other reason is that it still speaks prophetically of things to come, especially as it relates to Israel.  The Law of Moses is more than its 613 rules.  There is a prophetic element to it that predicts Israel's future, right up to the end of this age.       


In verse 5 Paul states how Moses viewed the Law.  He quotes from Leviticus 18:5 which says, "The man who does these things will live by them."   The words "these things" refer to the commands of the Law.  Simply put, the one who obeys the Law lives by the Law.  Obeying the Law was meant to be a way of life.   


Paul says some strange things in verses 6 through 8.  He says, "Who will ascend into Heaven ... who will descend into the deepÖ"  He is quoting from Deuteronomy 30:11 to 13.  In Deuteronomy 30 Moses is saying that obeying Godís commands is not too hard.  No one has to go to Heaven or into the deep to proclaim this word, or get help to follow Godís desires.  Moses says that you donít have to go anywhere to get the words to obey.  "They are in your mouth and in your heart" (Deuteronomy 30:14).


Paul clarifies in verse 8 what "word" Moses is talking about.  Paul says that it is the word of faith we are proclaiming.  We don't often think of Moses preaching faith, but in one sense of the word he did. Simply put, Paul is saying that our salvation is as close as our hearts and mouths.  We donít need to go anywhere to be saved.  All we need to do is to confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts that Jesus was raised from the dead and we will be saved as he says in verses 9 and 10.  It does not matter who confesses and believes. You can be Jew or Gentile.


Note the phrase "word of faith" in verse 8.  The Greek word "rhema" is translated into English as "word".  The Greek word "logos" is also translated into English as "word" in our Bibles.  By far, "logos" is used many more times than "rhema".  "Logos" occurs 330 times in the New Testament.  "Rhama" occurs only 68 times.  In brief, "logos" implies and idea or a concept that is merely spoken or put into words.  "Rhema" implies a concept or idea that is spoken, or put into words, but has direct consequences once spoken.  You might say that "logos" is static while "rhema" is dynamic.           


Paul's usage of "rhema" in connection with faith is important to understand.  "Rhema", the word that is dynamic and productive is the "word of faith".  The word (rhema) is associated with faith.  This word produces faith in those who allow faith to be produced in their lives.  In this sense of the word, "the word" produces something, and that's faith.  It is this faith, not any other faith, that saves people.  One can preach, can speak the word, or, the logos of faith, which in the end is not productive.  It produces no faith in those hearing because it's only the logos and not the rhema.  The rhema is carried to the heart by the Holy Spirit.  Allow me to suggest that there are a lot of logos words spoken Sunday mornings in the western world.  There are probably more logos sermons than rhema sermons.  This accounts for the present day poor condition of the church.        

The present day Word of Faith Movement has taken the idea of "rhema" to say that the words we speak in faith can bring things into existence, things that weren't in existence before.  "Speaking things into existence" is a phrase heard within this movement.  I do not hold to the Word of Faith Movement, or, Hyper-faith, as it is often called.  I think it's a great leap to take the preaching of the pure gospel that's carried to the heart by the Holy Spirit that leads one to salvation and declare that we can merely speak anything and everything into existence.  You must ask yourself what you are attempting to speak into existence is actually approved of by the Holy Spirit, who should in fact being carrying your words of faith.  Besides, this, Paul is specifically talking about salvation here.  He's not talking about speaking anything else into existence.  We cannot put words into Paul's mouth and make him say something he is not saying.                 


The Word of Faith Movement in its present form is actually a new age type of philosophy that crept into the church in the 1800's.  E. W. Kenyon was one who taught this philosophical way of thinking in the church back in the 1800's.  He went as far to say that if you have faith to be healed, you should not take the medicine the doctor gave you, even if you still have the symptoms for which you are taking the medicine for.        


The specific word of faith that Paul is speaking about here is seen in verse 9.  He says that if you believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and if you confess that He has been raised from the dead you will be saved.  This is one very famous verse that many of us learned in Sunday school, but what does it actually mean?


First of all, believing in your heart must be understood as more than just giving mental assent to what you believe is true about Jesus.  The word "believe" and the word "faith", by the definition of the Greek word "pistis' from which "faith" and "believe" are translated from, and, from the contextual uses of "pistis" in the Bible, means "trust", as in "trust your life with Jesus."  It's my thinking that the Evangelical church these days has really watered down the whole gospel message which includes a watered down concept of faith. 


In Biblical terms, one who has faith has given his life to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Notice Paul says that in order to be saved you must have faith in, or, trust Jesus, "the Lord".  We're not talking about accepting Jesus as your Saviour as is often preached in Evangelical circles.  Paul is talking about handing your life over to Jesus because He is the supreme Lord of all things.  The faith Paul is talking about is in fact trusting Jesus as your Lord.  He is first your Lord and because He is Lord He can become your Saviour.


I grew up in the Free Methodist Church.  I recall many sermons being preached that you first accept Jesus as your Saviour and then at some later date you accept him as your Lord.  That is not Biblical.  As a matter of fact you don't accept Jesus.  You give your life to Him.  He becomes your Lord and once He becomes your Lord you confess with your mouth that He has been raised from the dead.  At that point you are saved. 


Confessing that Jesus rose from the dead implies that you rose with Jesus from the dead as Paul explained in Romans 6:4.  It implies that the Holy Spirit lives within you because you cannot be raised into a new life without the Holy Spirit.       


Concerning the word "confess", it is translated from the Greek word "homologio", which means, "to speak the same thing."  The idea here is that we must "speak the same thing" that God would speak, and in this particular verse, the thing we must confess is that Jesus is Lord, or, Jesus is God.  


To explain verse 9 in further detail I insert my following article.



The Privatization Of Faith


If you were a closet Christian in the first century Roman Empire , you'd live in relative comfort.  Nobody, including Caesar, would be on your case.  Caesar had no problem with your faith locked up in your closet.  However, if it slipped off your closet shelf, onto the floor, and rolled onto the street, you'd be food for the lions.      


If you were a closet Christian in Hitler's Germany, you could live in relative peace and safety.  Hitler could have cared less about your faith as long as you kept it private.  However, if you exposed it in public, all hell would break loose.  


If you're a closet Christian today, that's no big deal either.  Nobody will bother you if you keep your faith bottled up inside.  However, if it seeps out into society, watch out.  


The thing that sealed your death in the first century Roman Empire and Hitler's Germany was your public confession of faith.  This is what makes Romans 10:9 important to us as it has been for Christians over the last two thousand years.    


In Romans 10:9 the Apostle Paul spoke to the issue
 of our confession of faith.  He said, "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved".  I recall this being a memory verse in my Sunday school days as a child.  In obedience to Paul's admonition, every Sunday evening during what was called "testimony meeting", I routinely mouthed my confession of faith in a brief, albeit a nervously spoken confession.  As fast as I rose to my feet I was back in my pew.  Such a confession among believers is important, but I don't believe that was Paul's thinking when he penned these words.            


The Christian confession of faith is a public proclamation that Jesus rose from the dead and is now Lord over all things.  It's public because Paul said we must confess with our "mouths", not with our thoughts.  Confessing our faith in a private gathering of saints is relatively easy, but for first century Christians their public confession was a matter of life or death.  It brought them into conflict with Caesar because he considered himself, and himself alone, to be Lord over all things.  He had no problem with Christians proclaiming that Jesus was one lord among many secondary lords, but he would not tolerate any hint of someone telling him that Jesus was Lord over him and his empire.  Hitler felt the same, as does our culture today.   


No matter the culture in which Christians live, a private faith is no big deal, but once you go public with your faith, that's a different matter.  Jesus told us to go public when He commanded us to preach the gospel throughout the world.  The foundation of the gospel is that Jesus has risen from the dead and is Lord over all things spiritual and all things material.  He submits to no one but His Father, and, in the end, all must submit to Him.  The fact of the matter is that our faith dictates that we publicize it; thus our present conflict with culture.  Even though our culture preaches tolerance, like Caesar and Hitler, it will not tolerate Christians proclaiming that Jesus is Lord over it.


John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus' first coming by publically proclaiming that Jesus is Lord and that all must repent and turn to Him.  John wasn't tolerated by the social establishment of his day, and we all know what happened to him.  Like John the Baptist, we must prepare the way for Jesus' second coming with the same public proclamation.  This is a huge challenge in the present cultural climate, but it's a challenge we must embrace. 


I find it a bit ironic that as some in society are coming out of their closets these days, Christians are being told to find a closet to hide in.  This is to be expected.  The natural consequence of the secularization of society is the forced privatization of faith.  We can't agree to a private faith.  If we privatize our faith, we deny the very faith we're mandated to publicize.


Now back to my commentary.  Verse 10 is basically
a summation of verse 9.


In verse 11 Paul quotes from Isaiah 28:16 by saying, "Whoever trusts in Him will never be put to shame."  God will always honour those who trust Him.  He will never shame them.  We may shame ourselves, but God won't.  Others may certainly shame us but God certainly won't, and he is more important than others.


Note that in verse 10 we see the word "trust".  The way Paul uses it in verse 10 he relates it to faith.  In other words, it's as I've said above.  Faith is trust.  I suggest that if you substitute the word "trust" for the word "faith" in the New Testament you'll have a better understanding of what faith is.     


In verse 12 Paul makes the point again that concerning salvation, there is no difference between Jew and Gentile.  The reason for this is that the Law was given to the Jews, and now the Law has nothing to do with being righteous or finding salvation.  That opens the door for the Gentiles who were never under the Law in the first place.  That's what we have learned so far in Romans, but, here Paul states another reason why the Gentiles are included in God's salvation.  It is because Jesus isn't just Lord of the Jews, He is Lord of all.  Why is He Lord of all?  He is Lord of all because He created all as seen in the Genesis account.                    


In verse 13 Paul once again points out that "everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved."  The Greek word translated into English as "call" is "epikeleo".  The type of call is "an appeal".  The one who calls out to Jesus, that is, appeals to Him by faith for his salvation will be saved.  This is a heart felt appeal, not some quick sinners prayer you're asked to repeat at an altar.    


Back in the Jesus Movement of the late 1960's and early 1970's we did a lot of street witnessing to hippies, and want-to-be hippies.  Some of our witnessing was powerful, and some was a bit flakey.  An example of flakey witnessing is, "hey man, try Jesus. You can't lose.  Believe He's Lord, and you'll be saved."  The Lord did use us at times despite our ignorance, but He doesn't want us to remain ignorant of Biblical truth.  Merely trying Jesus doesn't save anyone.  Asking a person to try Jesus isn't the gospel.  You don't try Jesus.  You hand your life over to Him.  There is a huge difference, a difference we just didn't get at times back then. 


In verses 14 and 15 we have a well known passage that is often quoted in what we used to call missionary meetings.  "How can they call on Him they have not believed in?  And how can they believe in the one in whom they have not heard?   And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can they preach unless they are sent?"  These words are often used to call men and women to the mission fields, whether the fields are across the ocean or within the limits of their own city.  Paul is emphasizing that the gospel must be preached, must be spoken with your mouth. 


Paul asks how one can believe in Jesus if he has never heard about Him.  Part of the point here is that the gospel message must be spoken with our mouths.  I've often heard over the years that a sample is better than a sermon.  The implication is that living the life is more productive than preaching about the life.  Of course, if your life doesn't match your words of preaching, you preach in vain, but, if your life does match your words, then the Bible commands us to preach.  


Paul then asks how people can hear about Jesus if there is no one to preach Jesus to them.  The point that Paul is about to make here goes to the importance of going out and preaching the gospel to those who have not heard.  This is to motivate the Christian to preach the good news of Jesus.  Obviously, Christians back then needed to hear this message as well as we do today.  Preaching back then was a dangerous thing to do in some localities.


One thing to note here is that all Christians are commanded to share the gospel of Jesus to others, but, some have a special calling from God to serve Him in this capacity.  Paul was one such man.  This is important when it comes to verse 15 where Paul says that how can they preach unless they are sent.  Those who are especially ordained by God; sent out by Him, are called "apostles".  The way this worked in the first generation church was that elders, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, sent apostles out to preach Jesus.  As I've said, we're not all apostles.  We're not all sent like Paul, but, we're all called to share Jesus with those we come in contact with.     


In verse 15 Paul quotes from Isaiah 52:7.  The passage speaks of how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel.  I would suggest that if one has beautiful feet, he might simply be beautiful all over.  That makes the preacher of the gospel, which really, should be all of us, the real beautiful people.         


Many people would like to have had Paul expand further on the question concerning how will the unbeliever believe if he has not heard the gospel.  This is one often asked question.  I merely point out the question.  I will not get involved in the answer here.  I can only say that God is just and all He does is just and that includes how He judges.  Revelation 19:2 states that God's judgments are true and just.  These words were spoken by an angel as the worst period of judgment ever seen on the earth comes to an end. 


In verse 16 Paul quotes from Isaiah 53:1 to support his next point.  Paul is using lots of Old Testament passages to back up what he is saying.  Here he quotes Isaiah saying, "Who has believed our report."  The word "our" is in reference to Jesus and God the Father.  When Jesus was on earth, few Jews believed what He said, and, what He said was what His Father wanted him to say.  This is why the Isaiah verse says "our report".   


In verse 16 Paul says that "not all Israelites accepted the good news."  That might well have been an understatement.  I'm not sure we really know how many Jews actually followed through with faith in Jesus after His return to Heaven.  Most of the Jewish leadership rejected Him.  Although he had many following him after they saw the miracles, it's uncertain that they kept the faith after the crucifixion.  


In verse 17 Paul says, "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the messageÖ"  This is a true saying.  One cannot trust in Jesus unless someone speaks the good news to them.  That's just common sense.  I have often heard people say, "live the life, and if necessary preach."  I believe Paul would be furious at these words.  We do need to live the life.  That's a given.  If you don't life the life you shouldn't be preaching, but, if you are living the life, you should be preaching.  People need to hear the words of the gospel.   


Notice in verse 17 the message that Paul is speaking of is "the word of Christ".  I mentioned this earlier but it needs to be said again at this juncture.  There are two Greek words that are translated as "word" in our New Testaments.  The most used Greek word is "logos".  "Logos" simply means any word that is spoken.  There's another Greek word with an extra meaning and it is the Greek word "rhema".  "Rhema" is a word that produces a direct result.  Back in verse 8 we saw "the word of faith".  That means the word associated with faith produces faith in one's life.  Here it is the "Word of Christ".  The word of Christ produces Christ in one's life. 


It is important to preach the Word of Christ and not our own words, that is the logos word without the Holy Spirit, but many times that is not the case.  Throughout the church preachers preach a humanistic word and has little to no effect on those who hear what is preached, and the results show that to be true.  When the true Word of Christ is preached and carried to the heart of those who hear by the Holy Spirit, there will be an effect on those listening.  This effect isn't always positive.  It's quite clear from the pages of the Bible that the effects are often negative. This is why Paul says that faith comes by hearing the Word of Christ preached.  The real Word of Christ produces faith in a person, assuming the person doesn't reject the Word preached.  Remember, faith is trust.  For those who hear the Word of Christ preached, they hand their lives over to Jesus.  That is faith. 


Note also that verse 17 distinguishes between hearing the message and hearing the word.  The message spoken isn't necessarily the Word of Christ.  A preacher can stand behind the pulpit and preach but that doesn't mean he is preaching the true Word of Christ.  The true Word of Christ is the message that is carried by the Holy Spirit into the heart of a person.   


I've spoken about the Hyper Faith Movement before, and I will again.  Those holding to Hyper Faith teaching stress the word "rhema" that we see here.  They say that our words should be rhema like words.  That means we as Christians should come to the place in our faith that we can speak our words, have our words be productive, and, speak into existence things that don't exist.  That is to say, he can speak words of healing and we and others will be healed.  If you are sick, you speak words of health and you will get better, merely because of the "word of faith", or, "the word of rhema".  I don't believe Paul is saying that here.  Paul is not talking about physical healing in this passage.  It's not even in his mind, or so I believe.  He's talking about faith as it applies to salvation.  I think it's a leap into stupidity to take his words and apply them to healing.       


In verse 18 Paul asks a couple of questions about Israel.  The first one is, "Did they not hear?Ē  The pronoun "they" refers to Israelis.  Paul answered by saying, "Of course they did."  In context, I believe Paul is saying that the Jews throughout history past heard the gospel of Christ, not just the gospel of God, or the gospel of Yahweh.  Paul quotes from Psalm 19:4 that states, "Their voices and words went out throughout the earth."  The word "their" in this instance refers to the heavens above as seen in Psalm 19.  It thus seems to me that the heavens somehow spoke forth the gospel to the Jews.  Somehow the Jews understood through the heavenly universe the message of God's salvation.  I admit that I need to do more study on this point.       


In verse 19 Paul asks, "Did Israel not understand?"  Paul does not answer this question directly, but we know his answer.  Paul quotes from Deuteronomy 32:21 and Isaiah 65:1.  Both of these passages state that God would turn to the Gentiles and they would be incorporated into the people of God.  The Jews knew these passages.  They should have understood what they meant, but they refused to understand.   As these two passages state, the inclusion of the Gentiles into the people of God was to make Israel jealous, and even angry.  It was to stir them on to accepting the gospel of Christ.  


In verse 20, God, through Isaiah says that He was found by those who did not seek Him, and was revealed to those who did not ask for him. This is clearly in reference to believing Gentiles.  God used Israel 's failure to bring the Gentiles into His family.


In verse 21 Paul quotes Isaiah 65:2.   God says that "all day long He has held out His hand to a disobedient and obstinate people."  While the Gentiles were finding Jesus, the Jews were forsaking their God, even though His hand was held out for them through Jesus during His earthly life. 


In the next chapter we will see that even though Israelis refused to come to their God, He did not, nor will not, turn His back on them.   Israel still has prophetic and historic significance.  Israel still has a place in the heart of God.            

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