A Closer Look

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How God deals with Jews and Gentiles in the Bible can be a little confusing. For instance, after underscoring how Israel has experienced a hardening until the full number of Gentiles has come in, the Apostle Paul says in Romans 11:32, “For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.” 


What Paul is getting at here is that God even in our fallen nature of going our own way, God redeems that for the sake of showing us that His pardoning of our sins has nothing to do with our merit. Up until Christ, Jews who followed a process of complete obedience to God’s will might have argued that they deserved the salvation of God. 


But as the late Bible scholar William Barclay put it, “God involved the Jews in disobedience so that when his salvation did come to them it might be unmistakably an act of His mercy.” This reminds us again that none of us, neither Jew nor Gentile could ever be saved apart from the wonderful mercy of God.