Romans 11:11-24, ” 11Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!
13I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry 14in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
22Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!”
When it comes to the Jews, they’ve had a raw deal. In their history they’ve been kicked out of nearly every country in Europe at one point or another, they’ve been hunted after and killed in medieval times and rounded up and slaughtered in modern times. They lost their homeland for a long time and after they got it back they’ve had to endure war after war, conflict after conflict, and yet somehow this small nation hasn’t been swallowed up by the agression of those surrounding it. Now there are some who are upset at this new policy of this new president that doesn’t outright support Israel. In fact, our leadership is in odds with Israel because they’re trying to settle people in their own country. Unfortunately, in a city divided into thirds, and a country even more divided, our policy isn’t gaining us many friends among the Jews.
Some people have taken delight at the plight of the Jews. Not so much of the Holocaust, but that they’ve had the troubles they have had since. It’s not up to us to repay wrongs with right or even more wrongs, but some do not see it that way. They don’t care that Gilad Shalit is still being held prisoner after being stolen from the Israeli side of the border three years ago. Until there is evidence to the contrary, he is still considered alive. (What outrage would there be if after thee years those three hikers had not been released?)
This passage speaks to that same feeling in the ancient Christians. The bad blood then wasn’t nearly so old, but it was deep. If it hadn’t been for their unbelief, the gentiles couldn’t believe. If it hadn’t been for them, there wouldn’t be any of us. In all the news of missing and captured people, don’t forget the one a country loved so much they defied the world to reach him. Don’t delight in their failure, but be instramental in their success.