Don’t Trip Over Jesus
As chapter 9 concludes Paul wraps it up with a contrast between the Gentiles and the Jews. Here are verses 3O-33: “30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. 33 As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” Paul writes that the Gentiles pursued righteousness through faith. The Jews pursued righteousness by the law; without faith. That’s the difference. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Paul ends with a quotation from the prophet Isaiah which both Paul and Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, understand to refer to Jesus. For the Jews, Christ became a stumbling block because of their lack of faith. They “believed” that their righteousness would come through their works, through the law…this tripped them up. They refused to receive Jesus. I hope that you are not tripping over the truth of Jesus, Who He is and what He offers to you. There is no salvation in the law. There is no righteousness in the law.