Read : Romans 10:1-21
Consider: Paul lays the desire of his heart open for all to hear when he says: Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved (Romans 10:1). Is it just because Paul was a Jew that he is concerned for his fellow Jews? Following Paul’s example, should we be praying for the people of Israel (Jews) to come to faith? There are those who argue that the Jews had the opportunity to accept Jesus as the Messiah, and that Paul redirects his efforts to the Gentiles. As such, they hold the view that we should concentrate on spreading the gospel among Gentile communities. Paul, however, never gives up on the Jews and nor does God. Paul states earlier in his letter to the believers in Rome: Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith (Romans 3:29-30). Later in today’s reading Paul says: For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (10:12-13).
Having presented us with the fact that the good news of the gospel is open to the Jews, as well as to every other person in the world, Paul then comes to the questions: How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ (10:14-15).
Many of us may never have an opportunity to share our faith with those of Jewish faith, but we can pray and financially support organisations who have a vision for speaking of Jesus with Jews, both in Israel and throughout the world. A few examples of these organisations are:
- Jewish Awareness Ministries (www.jewishawareness.org) – to proclaim that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah;
- Jews for Jesus (www.jewsforjesus.org) – to support Jews in exploring Jewish life with faith in Jesus;
- Jewish Voice Ministries (www.jewishvoice.org) – to proclaim the gospel to the Jew first, engage the Church concerning Israel and the Jewish people, and build the Messianic Jewish Community.
If you have Jewish friends, pray for them and, if the opportunity arises, gently share the good news of Jesus with them. If you feel a burden for the Jews, prayerfully and financially support an organisation that takes the gospel message to the Jewish community throughout the world.
Pray: Father, we see in the Bible that you never give up trying to bring individuals and communities into a forgiven relationship with you. We pray specifically for Jewish people across the world and ask that you would offer them forgiveness through Jesus Christ. We also pray for organisations that seek to share the good news of the gospel with Jews; may they be encouraged as they see people respond to the claims of Jesus as their Messiah. Amen
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