The CastawaysMay 11, 2011 at 9:27 am | Posted in Romans | 2 Comments
Tags: Apostle Paul, commentary on Romans, Gentiles, Gilligan's Island, grafting, jealousy, Jewish table, Romans 10, Romans 11, Sunday School lessons on Romans
God gave Israel three chances to accept salvation by grace through faith.
1. They fell.
I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
Romans 11:11 (emphasis added)
2. They were diminished.
Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?
Romans 11:12 (emphasis addded)
3. They were cast away.
For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
Romans 11:15 (emphasis added)
I remember watching a television show called “Gilligan’s Island,” which was about a group of “castaways.”
These castaways hoped to be rescued from the desert island where they had landed, but they kept trying to accomplish their rescue on their own. Did other people stop taking cruises until Gilligan and his friends could be found? No. God protected them while they were on the island, but He still blessed others while the castaways were hidden – they were kept safe, but secreted away. In a similar way, the gentiles received the opportunity for salvation partly because Israel fell, became diminished, and became castaways.
The idea from Romans 10 that the gentiles were to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy is reiterated in Romans 11:11. As a Christian, is your life provoking anyone to jealousy?
For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
Many mistake the teaching of the Holy Spirit through Paul to mean that saved people should sin with the sinners in order to develop a relationship with them that will open the door to present the Gospel. That is not what these Verses are teaching. The Apostle Paul “magnified his office.” He openly proclaimed to the gentiles, while he was among them, that he was an Apostle to them. But he also hoped his fellow-Jews were watching. Some of the gentile customs would have been personally offensive to Paul, but if the Jews could see the lengths he was going to in order to bring them the Gospel, they might become jealous and get interested in the message of the Cross, too.
And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:
The Jewish “table,” which should have been a place of spiritual nourishment, had become a trap or a snare. The Jewish leaders added to the rituals and the traditions, but they did not add in the nourishment of the Word of God.
Romans 11:16-24 contains the allegory of the olive tree. The gentiles have been “grafted into” God’s tree of salvation, but the gentiles have no grounds for boasting, and they must not forget the importance of Israel in God’s plans.