Romans 11: 1-2a and 29, New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
The Israelites Who Are Faithful
11So here is what I ask. Did God turn his back on his people? Not at all! I myself belong to Israel. I am one of Abraham’s children. I am from the tribe of Benjamin. 2God didn’t turn his back on his people. After all, he chose them.
29God does not take back his gifts. He does not change his mind about those he has chosen.
- Tree leaf or branch
Have you ever played a game of tag? Maybe you have played the game; then the rules change halfway through. People say that home base moved or “this person didn’t get tagged,” but the tagger says “yes, he did get tagged.” Sometimes people will change the rules in the middle of the game.
Paul writes that God is not like that. God keeps God’s promises. The people of Israel can always trust the promise of God.
Jesus was a Jew. The disciples were Jews; so was Paul, the writer of the letter to the Romans. The only scripture that they all knew was what we, as Christians, call the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, there are promises from God to the people of Israel.
Paul had a problem because the God of Israel came to him in a new way in Jesus Christ. Paul wanted to spread that good news to people, whether they were Jewish or not. Some Christians wondered if this meant God had taken back the promise to the people of Israel. Paul wondered if the Jewish people were still the people of God.
In this same letter to the Romans, Paul compares Jews to a big trunk of a tree. With Jesus, God has made room for Christ followers to be branches on this tree of faith. That’s why both Jews and Christians give praise to God. As a branch, and follower of Jesus, who could you invite into this church family?
Prayer: God, keeper of promises, thank you for sending Jesus to all of us. Thank you for reminding us that we can always depend on you to keep your promises. Amen.