“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Romans 1:16
We should never forget that the gospel came from Judaism. Jesus was a Jew; Born of a woman, born under the law. The early church (at least for the first few years) was exclusively Jewish. Some today treat the law and the gospel as different streams. Like train tracks running side by side, parallel but totally different. They also treat Israel and the Church the same way. Rather we find a different analogy that more accurately reflects both our scripture in hand and the reality of God’s kingdom. A metamorphosis has taken place. There has only ever been one kingdom of God (not Old Testament Israel and NT Church).
Consider a butterfly: It starts as a worm, earthbound and somewhat ugly. Then it crawls into a cocoon and a mysterious thing takes place. It emerges as a butterfly – no longer earthbound and more beautiful than ever. The mystery is that it is one in the same creature – but it is not the same essence that it started out as. Transformation has taken place. The one manifestation has become another manifestation. So is Israel and the Church. (Paul shares this same thought by using a different analogy in Romans 11.)
The gospel message, salvation by grace, came first to the Jews. In Hebrews, Paul tells us it was THEIR new covenant. Why do Christians insist that Israel today remain under the Old Covenant? God has given them a new one.
Father help me to realize that I am the recipient of grace. Of a Jewish covenant and that I too have been grafted into the ancient kingdom. Lord teach me to pray diligently for Israel, for your word says that you receiving them would bring life to this world. AMEN!