6/27 Romans 9:30-31

30 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law.

You can never be so bad that God's mercy and grace cannot save you, but you may think you are too good to accept the fact that you need His mercy and grace. As Gentiles came into the family of God with grateful hearts, Jews began to harden themselves toward this new expression of the Gentiles' faith. The One like Moses, Jesus, had changed the law in ways that made them uncomfortable (Deuteronomy 18:15). No longer were the rituals enough to make one feel right with God. Now the apostles were challenging the Jews to accept that Jesus was God's sacrifice for their sins. That was humbling. It was also uncomfortable, because the Jewish leaders looked down on and even persecuted the new sect.

The leaders asked, how could these new followers of the Christ think that people who had never tried to keep the laws and rituals were suddenly forgiven, when others worked so hard to do what God commanded in the Law? That doesn't seem fair. This way of thinking was preventing many Jews from embracing the salvation that Jesus brought.

What would you or I have done had we been a good observant Jew and seen this radical shift? Let us hope we would have searched the Scriptures to see if it was really true. Perhaps we would have even thought that if God loved the world, and if sin was as bad as the Word declares it to be, then this was the great solution our people had been looking forward to since Abraham, who was saved by faith. Still, the tension between the pursuit of truth and the comfort of fitting in with our culture would have been great. The same tension exists today for many of the same reasons.

Consider: Is my pursuit of the truth prevailing over my desire for comfort?