BLINDED FOR AWHILE
Leslie M. John
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Romans 11:25)
Apostle Paul wonders if God cast away Israel, who are LORD’s people and immediately reaffirms that it is not so. He says he was also of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God did not cast away His people whom he foreknew. Even when Elias was taking pride in himself that he was alone available to intercede on behalf of Israel, God said to him that He had reserved seven thousand men unto him who could intercede on behalf of Israel.
If the salvation, therefore, is by “grace”, then it is not by “works”. What then happened exactly that their attitude and belief has not changed yet? Yes, it is because God blinded their eyes for a season and gave them spiritual slumber that they should not see, and that they may not have ears for hearing unto this day. Have Israel stumbled that they should fall then? Apostle Paul himself answers these questions, in Romans 11th Chapter, that God did not blind them or made them deaf because they were stumbling blocks; nor was it because they have stumbled, but because of God’s desire that everyone in the world, irrespective of Jews or Gentiles be saved and have eternal life.
This is the difference between the earthly Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem that comes down from heaven. John saw a new heaven and a new earth after the first heaven and the first earth passed away and there was no more sea. In this New Jerusalem there was not seen any difference between Jews or Gentiles, but those who were there were all one in Christ. They had put on righteousness of Christ as their garments. They had received Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord by grace through faith in him.
More than any one taking pride of his belonging to any clan or sect the important fact that is to be borne in mind is that it is the grace of God that saves a man. No man needs precious metals such as gold and silver to earn a place in new Jerusalem, but all that a man needs is to have simple faith in Jesus, the Son of God, and make him Lord of his/her life.
God wipes away the tears of all those who accept Him Lord Jesus as Savior. There shall be no more death, no more sorrow, and no more crying or pain. God shall give freely the fountain of life to all that thirst for such a life. He who overcomes the world and the temptations therein shall inherit the blessings from God and he shall be His son.
Apostle Paul explains elaborately the plan of God for the salvation of Gentiles in Romans 11th Chapter. Jews always insisted on recompensing God’s favor with their own good works in order to earn salvation. They thought that their Messiah would come like a king. It is because of their misunderstanding that salvation is come unto the Gentiles.
“That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12-13)