Friday 21 February 2014

Bible Book:

“There is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to those who call on him.” (v. 12)

Romans 10:11-21 Friday 21 February 2014


Paul develops his argument by drawing on a long Old Testamenttradition that in God's good time, Jews and Gentiles (non Jews)would worship God together (Isaiah56:1-8). This would be a sign that the day of the Lord hadcome. For Paul, the evidence that the Holy Spirit is working amongthe Gentiles demonstrates clearly that this has now happened. Thetimes have changed. We no longer live in the waiting time, whenevil has free reign. We live in an in-between time, the dawning ofthe day of the Lord, when evil is conquered (though not yetdestroyed). And we look forward to the fulfilment of God's time,when Christ will be all in all.

This good news needs to be shared (verses 14-15), so that no-oneis able to say that they had not heard it. This impetus fuels theenergy of Paul's mission, his passion to take the gospel to as manypeople as he can. Yet the message is not always properly heard. Atthis point Paul seems to reflect more generally on his mission tothe Gentiles: some listened, others (the vast majority) turned adeaf ear. Luke's description of his preaching in Athens conveysthis same point (Acts 17:32-33).

Paul turns back to the Old Testament to explore once again thehard question of why 'Israel' does not understand and accept thisgood news as a whole people. In the tradition of the prophets,citing Moses (Deuteronomy 32:21) and Isaiah (Isaiah65:1-2), Paul rebukes his own people - once again, sayingthings as an insider that cannot appropriately be said outside thefamily. He holds together two distinct reasons for Israel's turnaway from Christ. It is both their own responsibility and theoutcome of God's choice, as outlined in the previous chapter, andPaul makes no attempt to reconcile these two causes.

To Ponder

  • Paul insists that there is "no distinction between Jew andGreek". In our society, which focuses as much on diversity asequality, how can we make sense of his claim?
  • "How are they to hear without someone to proclaim him?" (v.14). In what ways can you proclaim Jesus as Lord more clearly inyour own life?
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