If we loved people as much as Paul loved his Jewish brothers and sisters, we would live a much different life. I know this is a bold statement, but I look around, talk to different people and see this is true. In Romans 9 Paul is utterly heartbroken that his Jewish brothers and sisters as a nation will not be saved. So much so that he is willing to be FOREVER cut off from Christ if that would save them (verse 3). WOW, that’s love, true selfless love.
This whole thought was a conversation starter for my husband and me. I asked him to not answer right away but to really think about it and then asked, “Who would you be willing to give up your salvation for?” He paused. And instead of answering he pointed me to the previous chapter. Great point, Tim! Paul just finished telling us in chapter 8 that nothing can separate us from God’s love. Paul, I’m sure, remembers what he just wrote. But I understand his heart. How can the chosen nation miss that everything they had been through and learned was leading up to one thing: Jesus is the Messiah. The truth was so clear to Paul but not to his people, and it crushed him.
By the end of the chapter, Paul tries to come to terms with it all. He says basically that God is not about following laws, He is about being trusted. And that is what God is about: relationship not laws. I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 13—without love it is all nothing.
Does your heart break for the lost? Let it motivate you to share the love and hope of Jesus with others.