Paul: A Model for Jewish Outreach
Part 2: Romans 9-11
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. Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. (Romans 11:11-13)
Have you heard of the Great Commission? It is found in Matthew chapter 28, when Yeshua (Jesus) instructs His disciples to go out and tell the world about Him and His teachings. This is the reason we believers understand the need to share our faith with others.
Paul is one of our role models in fulfilling the Great Commission, as he travels and tells many people about Yeshua. While he takes the Gospel to the Gentiles (anybody who is not Jewish), he instructs them to help him reach Jewish people for Messiah. He says that one of the reasons he is sharing the Gospel with Gentiles is that they can make the Jewish people “jealous,” which will in turn help them come to faith. This is why I call Romans 11:11-13 the “Gentile Commission.”
How do Gentile believers make Jewish people “jealous”? There are two basic ways, which must be done in conjunction with each other:
1) All people can become jealous of you if you live an admirable life. Because of the work of Yeshua in your life, sin, pain, sorrow, strife, worry, etc. can be taken away. His death and resurrection make it possible for us to live a life that is more similar to His ways than to our old sinful ways. Unfortunately, we often refuse to be the new creation that God has created within us, and we continue to live as if our belief in Jesus doesn’t really transform us. If we appear no different than anybody else, and we act the same way after we have received Jesus, then what do we have that is worth being jealous of? However, if we live as the new creations that God made us, it means we have chosen to give up our troubles, sin, worries, and grief and to be more content with life. Things won’t always be perfect, but walking with Jesus makes things easier to handle. When non-believers see that, it goes a long way.
2) You can actually go out and share with the Jewish people around you or participate in Jewish missions. Sometimes we get scared of sharing our faith, imagining that people will reject us. Sometimes we think Jewish people know the Bible better than we do (this is generally not true). But think about what would happen if we followed Paul’s instructions, acted in faith, and went to share with Jewish people around us. There are many opportunities: you could go on a missions trip with Chosen People Ministries to reach Jewish people in New York, Israel, India, or New Zealand. Don’t be worried about saying the wrong thing or making “mistakes,” because God is bigger than your mistakes. Simply prepare yourself and go! Another way to help is by supporting fellow believers who are involved in Jewish missions.
Are you making the Jewish people jealous of your faith? After all, you believe in the God of Israel; you believe in a Messiah who is Jewish; and the same Holy Spirit who lived in the greatest Jewish king, King David, lives in you. There is a lot to be jealous of: you just have to go and show Jewish people your relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Contributed by Ryan K.