Understanding “to the Jew First” – Part 2

Welcome back, friends! If you have prayed with us through May, you know we have focused on the salvation of Israel. In the same vein, yesterday we launched a 4-part series understanding what Scripture means when it references “to the Jew first.” Are Gentiles some sort of second class citizen? We answered that question yesterday!

Today, we’ll tackle the second fallacy associated with “to the Jew first”: Have Gentiles become “the new Jew” since Jews rejected the Messiah? The answer is “no,” but let’s talk about why.

The first fallacy resulted from a deflated sense of self worth as Gentiles. The second fallacy is an inappropriately inflated sense of self worth. Israel has not been cast aside, and the church has not been elevated. Let’s turn to Romans 11 for God’s perspective.

There, Paul describes Gentile believers as wild olive branches grafted into a cultured olive tree. That defines the great opportunity God has granted to Gentiles to become rooted in Jewish heritage. We are grafted into the family of the chosen. But, lest we become too big for our britches, verse 18 warns:

Do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.

The message is to Gentiles: don’t boast against your host (Jewish heritage)! That root supports you! Gentiles are not superior. In fact, we are dependent upon the Jewish root for salvation!

So, in our first 2 days of study, we settle the case that Gentiles are neither inferior nor superior to Jews. In fact, as God would have it, we are both dependent upon one another! Had the Jews not rejected the Messiah, opening up the door of opportunity, Gentiles would have no means of salvation. Likewise, Gentiles are charged with provoking our Jewish friends to jealousy (verse 11), so they might open their hearts and minds to their Messiah!

Check back tomorrow as we continue our journey of understanding “to the Jew first.” We’ll talk specifically about what that phrase means. See you then!

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