bible blog 219


We who are able ought to carry the frailties of those who are unable, and ought not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbour for the general good, to build people up. For Messiah did not please himself, but as Scripture says, “The abuse of your abusers fell upon me.” Whatever was written before our time was a script for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scripture, we might have hope.  May the God of perseverance and hope give you the same understanding as each other, in harmony with Messiah Jesus, so that with one desire and one voice, you may honour the God and father of our Lord Jesus Messiah. Accept one another therefore, as Messiah accepted us, to the honour of God.

My teaching is that Messiah became a servant to the Snipped People for the sake of God’s truth, to make good the promises given to the patriarchs; and so that the Gentiles might honour God for his mercy, as Scripture says, “For this I will praise you among the Gentiles and sing to your name.”  And again it says, “You Gentiles, make merry with God’s People!” And again, “Praise the Lord, you Gentiles and let all the peoples applaud him!”  Yet again, Isaiah says,” There shall be a root of Jesse, one who rises to rule over the Gentiles; in him the Gentiles will put their hope.”

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in your trusting, so that in the power of the Holy Spirit, you may overflow with hope.

In this final section of his letter ( I do not think chapter 16 was originally part of it) Paul recapitulates his assertion that the entry of the Gentiles into the inheritance of Israel is not God’s plan B, but the fulfilment of ancient prophecy.

His command not to please oneself reminds him of the self-sacrifice of Jesus who bore the abuse of those who also abused God. (The “you” in the bible quotation is God.) Paul argues that if Messiah accepted undeserved abuse in order to show acceptance of sinners, believers ought to be able to put up with minor difficulties in order to accept each other and build up the shared life, the interbeing of the Assembly of Jesus.

The life and death of Jesus as the suffering servant prophesied by Isaiah, is for Paul a sign of God’s faithfulness to his promise to the Partriarchs, especially to Abraham, that in their descendants all nations would be blessed.His raft of quotations emphasises that the present the faith of the Gentiles fulfills the destiny of Israel as the carrier of God’s blessing to the world, but in an ironic way, because it comes through Israel’s rejection of its Messiah.


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