Sunday, March 12, 2017
God's Chosen People for a Reason
Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 19-21; Galatians 3
Topic: The Gospel
SCRIPTURE: Galatians 3:26-29
26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
(Gal 3:26-29 NIV)
For centuries the Jewish culture had been built upon their traditions and their unique identity as “God’s chosen people.” By the time of Jesus the whole Jewish mindset had become steeped in the concept that as God’s chosen people they were above other people groups. They were to separate themselves from all other tribes and nations and therefore not associate with them in any way.
Here Paul sets the record straight. When God chose Abraham and promised him that a great nation would come from his seed, that was only part of the promise. What was God’s promise to Abraham?
18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. (Gen 18:18 NIV)
18 …through your (Abraham’s) offspring all nations on earth will be blessed…
(Gen 22:18 NIV)
Have you ever known anyone to get into trouble because they didn’t listen to instructions carefully—maybe they missed a step when they were building something and it didn’t come out right? Or maybe instruction was given and they only listened to the parts that they liked or were interested in?
I have sometimes told the story of one of my sons who loved our family recipe for tuna casserole. One day he decided to make it on his own. He gathered all the ingredients and made it just like he had seen me do it many times. When the casserole was finished it didn’t taste quite right. That’s when he discovered that of all the ingredients for tuna casserole he had forgotten to add the tuna.
Listen Christians – Somehow the Jewish culture had grown from only heeding some of God’s instructions. They got the part about being God’s chosen people. They got the part about being a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. They got the part about being set apart and separated from the other nations. But they forgot to put the tuna in the casserole! They forgot that the whole reason for this was that they would be a blessing to the other nations—that they were supposed to be set apart to serve and show the love of God to all nations. As Christians today, and “heirs according to the promise” as Abraham’s seed, let us not make the same mistake.
Lord, thank You for blessing me so greatly with Your love and salvation. Grant me the grace, wisdom and ability to love and be a blessing to others. Through Christ Jesus. Amen. -AP