“Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers, a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” (Romans 11:25).
God’s people act on God’s command. The obedience of the nations is Messiah’s (see Dec. 6). All authority on heaven and earth has been given to Him (Matthew 28:18). At His command and with His authority, we go to people of all nations, fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham: “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3).
At Pentecost (the 40th day after Easter, when God sent the Holy Spirit), Jewish people from many lands came to the temple in Jerusalem and received the Holy Spirit. They returned to their homes proclaiming God’s glory in Messiah Jesus. As Jesus commanded, they spread the message from Judea and Samaria to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Though these first evangelists were Jewish, the sad irony is that soon the Jewish people became hardened to the name of Jesus, and fell away from faith in Messiah. Even today they struggle with God, refusing to hear His Word. But as God promised, a remnant of the Jewish people still believe in Messiah.
Paul’s theme verse of the letter to the Romans is “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). Paul put this into action as everywhere he went, he went first to the Jew. God still has a plan for his beloved first children.
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for being “Immanuel,” God with us, as we serve Your gospel among Jews and Gentiles throughout the world. Amen.
As We Wait: Find out more about Lutherans in Jewish Evangelism (Burning Bush Ministries), a Recognized Service Organization of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, and Congregation Chai v’Shalom, ministries to Jewish people who do not know Jesus is the Messiah they await.