This may sound odd. But I was really thinking of going back to basics here..
Exactly WHY do we believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God -- the second Person of the Holy Trinity? When the Jews never understood the Trinity in the way that we do.. and the Pharisees (the ancestors of Rabbinical Judaism) never appeared to believe in it. So the Messiah was very much a human figure.. and only God himself could save the people from their sins.
I've read a lot of websites.. where they say many of the Messianic texts which are derived from the Bible, were heavily taken out of context. Isaiah 53 being one example..
So again -- why do we believe it, Why should I trust that what the Church Fathers said is true? How do I know they also were not merely indoctrinated.. with other people's thinking, instead of coming to their own conclusions..
not to answer your question, but just to toss in my 2 cents on this matter, for whatever it is worth.
Israel wanted a king an earthly king this is not the first time they did so, and rejected the Lord God. 1 Samuel 8:1-22 “1When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges for Israel. 2The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. 3But his sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.
4So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”
6But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. 7And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”
10Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. 11He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day.”
19But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”
21When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD. 22The LORD answered “Listen to them and give them a king.”
Then Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Everyone go back to his town.”
So who is the messiah they expected? the same kind they asked of samuel, A king that will rule over them and save them from earthly bondage and slavery and give them earthly glory. this is precisely why they were looking for a king. It therefore became contrary to their logic and expectation thus a stumbling block,for Israel to wait for an earthly king and get the Lord Himself instead. Haven’t they rejected Him before? yet as promised he came and for those who believed in him he gave them Life.
However, let us first address the matter of Jews not believing in Jesus Christ, Who was the Theotokos? a Jew! Who was the old man Samuel who held the baby Immanuel and praised God for the Messiah? a Jew! Who was the old prophetess Hanna? A Jew! Who were the apostles? Jews! what ethnicity was our beloved the great apostle Paul? a Hebrew of Hebrew, as he himself attests to this fact as to knowing and keeping the law Pharisee, Phil 3:5-6,” 5circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; 6as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless..” Acts 26:4-5 4“So then, all Jews know my manner of life from my youth up, which from the beginning was spent among my own nation and at Jerusalem; 5since they have known about me for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that I lived as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of our religion.”
who were the first thousands of Christians? Jews who were the women disciples? Jews, most of the early martyrs and defenders of the faith? JEWS and those who were practicing Judaism as converts! As the Gospel testifies many of the leaders believed in him! John 12:42 “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue;”
I am trying to point out that it is not that no Jew believed in the Messiah, yet there were those who did and did so with full understanding of the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms, yes it might have taken them awhile before they got the meaning of the scriptures but these were ardent Jews who believed in him not some non believing , non practicing , ignorant of thier faith Jews as some today want us to think and believe.
Now let us go back to the matter of the apostles being practicing Jews, they did not expect the Lord God to be their king but were waiting for an earthly king of the Jews to rule Israel on earth. What a disappointment it must have been initially to be confronted to the fact that Jesus told them that his kingdom is not from this world! Hey they even thought after seeing the miracles he was performing the crowd felt validated that this indeed must be the messiah that will feed them manna or miraculously multiply their food and protect them, heal them when they are sick etc so what better king to have on this earth than he who can do all that and make their earthly life an easy and comfortable one so they decided they would cease him and crown him king of Israel! John 6:1-15 1Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick. 3Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4The Jewish Passover Feast was near.
5When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
7Philip answered him, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
8Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
10Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. 11Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
14After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
So as we have seen they wanted to crown him, but he escaped that, and tries to teach them the real reason why he came this is one of the most poignant moments I think, especially when many of his disciples turn away from him and leave after he told them the truth of why he came, he looks at the apostles and says “DO YOU WANT TO GO AWAY AS WELL?”
surely this very truth remains the stumbling block where many stop following him or many concocted an erroneous view of what he meant when he has spoken plainly in the hearing of all that were there, it was so plain that they left him, the mystery of the Holy Eucharist, the very Flesh and Blood of the Incarnate Logos, yes for this reason they left as many do today. And he still asks the rest do you want to go away as well? Because it is either you believe or you do not there is no way around it. If one finds this difficult to accept he or she is not the first one to think so however the fact remains, thus the question of our Lord. Going back to the crowd wanting to crown him king, he reprimands them saying do not work for food that perishes, of course food that perishes, kingdoms that pass away everything of this world will pass, so he is telling them do not think it is for this reason that he is there, which is why he reveals to them the great secret and mystery. yet as we all know, knowing is not enough! John 6:22-71 22On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
25When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
35Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40For this is the will of my Father that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
41So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— 46not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
52The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59Jesusd said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.
60When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”
66After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” 70Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” 71He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him.
Remember how the mother of James and John the sons of Zebedee came and asked the lord to make them sit one on his right and one on his left in his kingdom? Matthew 20:20-28 “20Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.
21“What is it you want?” he asked.
She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”
22“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”
“We can,” they answered.
23Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”
24When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
so do you think she knew what she was asking? That she was asking him to reject one (put him on the left) and save the other (put him on the right)? No! of course not! What she was asking for was for the earthly lordship for her sons, to be made princes, or first commanders of the king, the messiah that will reign on earth. That is what she understood and asked for. reading this I always find this contrasting all the gods of men’s creation because they are the creation of fallen men who have fallen ego these pagan gods that will use trickery in trapping people with their words and granting them wishes that contradicted their intent and then gloating on their superior ability of manipulation. So those believes have always felt they need to be very careful of these treacherous gods who will use their words against them just for their twisted pleasure as a testament of their superior intellect. Anyway the Lord corrects her and says you do not know what you are asking! Because had she known what she asked the eternal king to do, she would never have uttered such a thing, so he saves her great sorrow and denies her particular request.
For what reason was he brought before the judgment seat of pilate? when pilate asked him if he was a king what did our Lord say? He did not deny it, yet he told him the Truth, even when pilot got baffled and asked the question “What is Truth?” certainly the mob did not care, those who have sang hosanna only days before have gathered now to see him die. what did Israel end up saying to the words of pilot “Behold your King!”? Away with him! Crucify him! , we have no king but Caesar!” John 18: 33-40, John 19:1-16 “So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. 39But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber
1Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” 5So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” 6When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” 7The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” 8When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. 9He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
12From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” 13So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. 14Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16So he delivered him over to them to be crucified”
Israel expected an earthly messiah! The apostles at first expected the same thing of Jesus! Even though he constantly told them who he is, and how his kingdom is not an earthly kingdom, they simply did not understand him. It was in his passion and resurrection and in the anticipation of his return that they finally got it! John 2:22 “When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.” John 12:16 “His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him” John 14:26 “But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
The veil is lifted and they saw that the king the Lord promised them is not an earthly king, the bondage that he will free them from is not an earthly bondage as done in the time of mosses but from the ultimate bondage of man by death. after all that one time Israel asked for an earthly king they committed a great sin against the lord and the Lord God told them so plainly. So They should have known that the messiah God will give them is not an earthly king , if the lord did not approve of their request for a king and called it a rejection of Him back then, then what excuse does Israel have today to want an earthly king and continue to reject God!? If they could not have said to Samuel and God that didn’t you promise us the messiah then give him to us now? Yet they could not say that even then without incurring the judgment upon themselves for the sin it was, so I am still baffled what makes them think that it is an earthly king that the lord will be pleased to give them when He despises the very idea of them asking for it, the fact that He gave them a king is a sign of their sin, their rejection of him yet it is also a testament of his compassion on Israel and his unfailing love that he continued to help them even when they turned away from him.
The apostle Paul tells us why it is hard for the Jews to understand the full meaning of the message of the scriptures and what all that symbolism is about,( the work of the Spirit as the illuminator is very evident here ), and the question is what do they think is it all about ? unless they believe that all those symbolisms were for nothing such as the bronze serpent mosses made etc then we see that the Lord is preparing his people leaving them signs of the coming of a new and everlasting covenant if only they will turn and submit to his Kingship. Saint Paul says 2Corinthians 3:14-18 “14But their minds were blinded. for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is the veil taken away. 15Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
We also see after the resurrection the Lord opening the minds of the apostles so they can understand the scriptures ( of course by scriptures we mean the old Testament the new has not yet been written;) so we understand that the Law , the prophets and the psalms all spoke about him who is to come and consummate them.) Luke24:13-27 and 36-49 13Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16but they were kept from recognizing him.
17He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19“What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”
25He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
“36As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish 43and he took it and ate before them.
44Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
So all this resonates with what the Holy Spirit through the prophet Isaiah have started with lamentation of the unbelief that goes into the report of the suffering servant and the Power of God in redeeming His people. Isaiah 53: 1 “1Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?”
Indeed the evangelist and the apostle together lament over it also John 12:38 “so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” Romans 10:16 “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our report?”
As to the unrepentant heart of some of those children of Abraham who continue to reject the messiah even while mosses and all the prophets spoke about him, yes it is true that hearing about his resurrection means nothing to them if they cannot hear what the prophets say about him first, his birth, his suffering, his death, and resurrection and his coming back again in Glory, and his everlasting kingdom. John 5: 39-47 “39You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. 41I do not receive glory from people. 42But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 43I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”
Indeed as Abraham himself have said to the rich in the abyss “He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.!!!’” Luke 16:31
So now what should we, who believe in the message of the Gospel say about those Israelites who had heared the promise of being heirs first but have hardened their hearts and rejected the Heavenly King for thier want of an earthly one? Should we gloat over them? Should we ignore the fact that Christ our Lord came from them and died for all of us? Sharing the Apostel's hope and heart ache surely when it comes to the remenant of Israel, we can hope and pray He that has made us his family and gave us Life in the glorious mystery of our Salvation,the Good Shepered is capable to gather all that are children of Abraham in the flesh and bring them to His everlasting Kingdom as promised to their Fathers. so the great Apostle St. Paul teaches us that here lays a great mystery we must humble ourselves before.Romans 11:1-36 “1I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham a member of the tribe of Benjamin. 2God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? 3“Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” 4But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 6But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.
7What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, 8as it is written,
“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes that would not see
and ears that would not hear,
down to this very day.”
9And David says,
“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
a stumbling block and a retribution for them;
10 let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,
and bend their backs forever.”
Gentiles Grafted In
11So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!
13Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. 15For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 16If the dough offered as first fruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. 23And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.
The Mystery of Israel’s Salvation
25Lest 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. 26And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
27 “and this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”
28As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. 29For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, 31so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. 32For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.
33Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
36For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”