Week of March 3 - Day 1

Scripture to Memorize: Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
    or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has given a gift to him
    that he might be repaid?”

36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Day 1 Read: Romans 11:11-16

So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12 Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean! 13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 

Reflect: How is God working behind the scenes with regard to Israel’s “stumbling”? What does this tell us about Him?

Consider: Although the condition of Israel has been the major theme since the beginning of chap. 9, Paul clearly was writing primarily to Gentile believers. Throughout the section he spoke of his Jewish kinsmen in the third person (e.g., 9:4–5, 32; 10:1–3, 18; 11:1, 7). In 11:13 he reminded his Gentile readers that it was to them that he was talking, and he addressed them in the second person (11:13, 17–22, 24–25, 28, 30). Contrary to much that is written, the major theme of chaps. 9–11 is less the fate of Israel than a warning to the Gentiles not to presume on their fortunate position as a wild branch that had been grafted into a historic tree of Jewish origin.1

Respond: How did Paul hope to affect his fellow Jews through his proclamation of the gospel to the Gentiles? What might we learn from his example in terms of our own evangelistic efforts?

1 Robert H. Mounce, Romans, vol. 27, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995), 218–219.