Friday, October 26, 2007

"You Will Hear But Never Understand"

At the end of Acts (28:17-31), Paul arrived in Rome and asked to speak with the leaders of the Roman Jews. They appointed a time for him to speak and many Jews came to hear Paul. He spent all day trying to make them see the "light of the glory of the gospel of Christ," but they were divided. So Paul quoted Isaiah and said,
"'You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.'
Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen."

These Jews were responsible for their sinful rejection of Jesus, but God ordained this from the beginning. God's chosen would reject the Christ so that God could extend his grace to the Gentiles. We owe our salvation, in part, to the Jews' rejection of their Messiah!

We could thank them, but our hearts are broken that they rejected Christ. This is the epitome of mixed emotions.


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