The Jewish believers in the church at Rome have been dealing with a very difficult transition.
They have seemingly left the Jewish faith to become followers of Jesus Christ, and they are concerned over their own condition, as well as the condition of their family members and friends left behind in the faith system they have always practiced.
This, in part, is the weight of tradition over truth which Jesus rebuked, and why tradition over truth must always be rejected by those who desire to truly follow God in Christ.
This means many, and most, will be left behind in the choice of truth over tradition, because tradition has an appeal to the flesh, and is comfortable for those who have only known tradition all their lives.
To come along now and say, “salvation is by faith in Christ alone,” is jarring to all Jewish practitioners – even those who choose rightly to place their faith in Christ.
“What of the Law, and the prophets, and the rituals? Are we to set all that aside in following Jesus? Why have so few Jews chosen as we have chosen? And, if God’s promises to the Jews have been set aside – how can we trust the promises He is now making to us through Jesus Christ?”
These are all important and relevent questions for both Jewish AND Gentile believers alike. What of the promises of God to the Jews? Have they been set aside?
Paul, being a veteran of missionary church-planting, is magnificent in both anticipating and answering these kinds of questions of Jewish believers.
In his own inimitable style, Paul employs God’s Word to inform the Jewish believers it is they who ARE the true Jews. You are not now, nor have ever been a Jew by ritualistic practice alone -but by faith in God’s Word. Only those who are of faith in Christ are the seed of Abraham.
This is not now, nor has it ever been a majority position. (It never will be until Christ returns to rule and reign upon the earth.) Until then it is left to men to decide whether to trust God’s plan of salvation by grace – or to place their trust in their own good works.
Most will choose works. It has always been the case God will work through a remnant.
To the Jewish believers – and to ALL who choose Christ – you have not been wrong to choose the narrow way. The desire you have for those who remain on the broad way is the same desire God has for them. Keep praying for them.