Scripture Reading: Romans 9:1-5
“That I have great sorrow and increasing anguish in my heart. For I would wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” (Romans 9:2,3)
Paul had a great burden for the Jewish people. In fact he said that he had “great sorrow and increasing anguish” in his heart for the Jewish people who rejected Jesus to be the Messiah. His burden was so great that he actually said “for I would wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” Do you understand what he is saying? He is saying that if possible he would bear the pain of hell in order to see them saved. Remember that Paul himself was a Jew. He deeply loved the Jewish people.
It is amazing how much antisemitism has existed throughout the history of this world. The Jews have been persecuted, denigrated, and humiliated at various times. From ancient times to modern times, there have been hostile attacks and hateful attitudes toward Jewish people. How terribly unfortunate this is!
We Christians must remember that our faith began with Jewish roots. Read the Old Testament and you will see how God put His favor on the Jewish people — “They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen” (vs. 4,5). The earliest Christians were Jews who believed that Jesus was the true Messiah and the only Savior. We Gentiles were grafted into the people of God later in redemptive history.
Our hearts should be broken over Jewish people who have rejected Christ. We should pray regularly for Jewish people to come to Christ. I’ve made many trips to Israel and each time I go I find a deeper appreciation for our Jewish history. I also come back more burdened for the salvation of Jewish people.
Lord Jesus, I pray for Jewish people who have rejected You. I pray for a movement of Your Spirit among them. Open their eyes to see You as the one and only Messiah.
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