Unlimited: I am an Israelite Myself
May 8, 2023 461
I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin (Romans 11:1b).
Here Paul presents his qualifications for being able to speak on this topic. His central point is that God has not rejected Israel, and he is putting himself forward as evidence of this. Paul himself certainly doesn’t consider himself to have been rejected, but instead to have been entirely accepted by God. Paul is also reminding us that this is a very personal question for him.
Elsewhere, Paul tells us that he was,
circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee (Phil 3:5).
Furthermore, he wrote:
I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees (Acts 23:6).
Paul’s central point is that God has not rejected Israel, and he is putting himself forward as evidence of this.
In Acts 22:3, Paul said to the crowd of Jews at his arrest:
I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today
Gamaliel was one of the foremost religious teachers in the generation that saw Jesus and Paul. He was a prominent member of the Sanhedrin, and the grandson of the famous Rabbi Hillel.
Paul is impeccably qualified to speak about God’s offer of salvation to the Jewish people.
We have seen how Paul presents his qualifications to speak about the salvation of his people. What are your qualifications to speak about the salvation of people just like you?