Who Gets In?

2 Kings 21: 1–18, Luke 13:31–35, Romans 11:1–12 (read online ⧉)

Scripture leaves no question as to Manasseh. He was not a man after ’s own t. While the image of was in him, he in no way ed it. He led his people even further away from . He is not alone in his guilt. While he may have led the people away from , they chose to follow. We could excuse their behavior by saying that they were afraid to oppose Manasseh, however, does not excuse them. There is a lot to unpack there, but not for today.

does say that the people of Israel (and Judah) have done evil since they left Egypt. The time has come, it seems, for something to happen, and happen it did. The people of Judah were eventually sent into exile.

By the time of , Israel was a in the clutches of a foreign authority. Just as during the exile, that did not mean that stopped working, it just wasn’t as expected or often as desired. is quite blunt about the whole thing when he states that a true prophet of Israel (with some exceptions) will die in Jerusalem, by the hand of Jerusalem. That’s a pretty dark statement.

A people who disregarded and kill ’s prophets in the very city “placed” his name. What kind of could they possibly have?

An amazing kind.

Paul had the unenviable task of sharing the with Jews and and placating the long-standing cultural frictions between the groups. Add into this the addition of to ’s redemptive plan (despite it being in the Old Testament), and the tensions to cast out the “other” group(s) from the redemptive story was probably pretty strong. Paul had to respond well to the who (at least some) seemed to think that now that they had received , the Jews had lost it. Some Jews probably felt that Paul was saying that, too.

Redemption is available to all.

1) Have you ever thought or said that someone is beyond ?

2) Reread Romans 11:12. Compare that to the behavior that noted. What does that tell you about ’s and ?

3) Have you ever had to walk between 2 competing groups like Paul had to? What was it about? How was it resolved?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.