“This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”~Eph. 3:6, ESV
I don’t think we in this century have the ability to wrap our mind around just how revolutionary this mystery was. The closest thing to it might be if a Presidential pardon was offered to the terrorists responsible for 9-11 and they were granted full rights as US citizens.
We would be outraged! How could the President do that!? Those who hurt and killed our countrymen, who have been our enemies for years (in Israel’s case thousands of years–not just 12), are now offered access to the promises reserved for us? But we’re special! We’re a nation that was built on God’s word. We’re especially blessed by God. They’re, not.
Can you imagine how much this revelation would have rocked the Jewish world view? Not only that but now everyone has direct access to God and the temple is no longer necessary because we are the temple. This new people, including THEM, is now God’s dwelling place. Paul, that’s not right. No. No!
That’s exactly what their, and Paul’s, initial reaction was. Check out his story in Acts 6 and 7. They were scandalized!
But God was willing to walk into the middle of that hornets’ nest. For us, he shook up his chosen people, and said, “I’m sorry you misunderstood. I’m sorry you didn’t understand before. I love you, but I love them, too.” This message caused him to lose many of the Israelites. Thus Paul’s words in Romans 9-11.
I can’t fathom this situation as a parent. Quite honestly I have avoided and will probably continue to avoid these kind of situations. For instance, I have always wanted to adopt. But because of how it would rock Ethan’s world as the oldest son, we’re not planning to ever adopt a child older than he is. Liam’s birth caused months of jealously issues, and I can’t imagine what the introduction of a scared and hurting child older than Ethan would do to him.
But God loved us enough to do it. He loved us enough to adopt us at great cost to himself and his family. Not only the sacrifice of Jesus, but also his first children the Israelites. Many of whom still struggle with this idea today.
God, thank you. Thank you for risking it all for me.