The gospel message should not have been new to the Jews in Rome. It was found throughout the Old Testament scriptures.
In one way, the Old Testament narrative is sad: God's law is rejected, His people wander from Him and the hope of a Messiah fades.
For centuries, the Children of Israel had resisted God's Word.
The gospel gave equal rights to both Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus. The Jews should not try to displace the Gentile believers, and the Gentiles should not look down on the Jews.
Most people can remember the anguish of realising that something precious has been thrown away. It was not intentional, but careless.
Paul wrote that ancient Israel was like an olive tree stump, and the Gentile believers were like branches from wild olive trees that have been grafted into the 'root' of Israel.
Some think that God is only kind to people; while others think that He is only stern. The Bible says that He is both kind and stern at the same time, depending on our response to His promises.
Today's passage contains a puzzle, because Paul writes that "all Israel will be saved". Clearly, God's ancient people had become hard against Jesus.
The story behind these verses is straightforward. God had chosen Israel to be His special people; however they did not respect the privilege He gave them, and they hated His Son Jesus.
This passage is one of the Bible's big statements about the limitless character and power of God.
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