Summary: Jews had the privilege of chosen by God as special nation through Abraham. They were bestowed with Law through Moses. They had formed vibrant empire through David. But they rejected Jesus Christ the Messiah, which is the greatest Sin.
Jews' Sin of disobedience to God
Romans 2:17-20: The Pride of the Jew
Romans 2:21-27: The Peril of the Jew
Romans 2:28-29: The Peak of the Jew in Christ
The Pride of the Jews - Romans 2:17-20
Jews are prideful people. They are enjoying the privilege of the chosen community in the World. They thought of themselves as a superior tribe among the tribes of the world. They are possessed of the law of Moses which was known as the law of God. The law was superior to any other scriptures and revelations of the world. Because the law is the embodiment of knowledge and truth. So, it is a guide to the blind, light to those who are dark, an instructor to the foolish, a teacher of the little children. The possessor and professor of the law felt superior to others. Some pastors, preachers, and denominations always claim their superiority to other faiths. Sometimes, it’s very funny to see the claims of them that they are the only church from God and all other denominations will not enter into heaven. They have forgotten that Jesus Christ is the saviour of the world. He is the way the truth and eternal life.
The peril of the Jews- Romans 2:21-27
The peril of the Jews were their prideful thoughts about their privilege as the chosen race by Yahweh. The privilege of having the law of God requires more responsibility and exemplary life practices. Jews had the truth of God with them but Paul pinpointed their peril, that is, they never give a place for the law to work in themselves. They were teaching something and practicing something, never had the equilibrium. They taught against stealing but were stealers, they taught against adultery but were adulterers and they were breakers of the law of God. They were boastful of their circumcision which was unique to their race. (Of course, Muslims were not existing when Paul wrote this epistle. They were an offshoot of the Jews as per the claims of Muhammad after 600 years of the incarnation of Christ).
The peak of the Jews- Romans 2:28-29
Paul after narrating their pride and peril now turns to the peak of Jews. Their possession of law and their special status of circumcision as a covenant of God doesn’t bring any great spiritual peak. The real peak of Jews comes from Christ alone. Knowing Jesus Christ and his saving power is the peak of Jews, gentiles. Nothing to boast about on circumcision which is outwardly but a man needs to have inward cleansing and the making of the self. The reflection of the image of God and his characters are important than the outward religious signs and symbols. All these are honoured by men but abhorrent to the Lord. By birth, no one claims anything of religion but practices identify a person with that religion. Personal and practical life is matters than religious rites and rituals. What kind of spirituality we show to others matters a lot than simply having religious outward identities?
1. What is the pride we claim as Christians compared to others in India?
2. What are the perils you have in your personal spiritual life?
3. Christ is the peak of spirituality - justify this statement from your experiences.
(For my studies in Romans, please refer this website)