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Romans 11:13,14– Apostle of the nations

15-09-2021 - Posted by Hans

Now to you am I saying, to the nations, in as much as, indeed, then, I am the apostle of the nations, I am glorifying my dispensation, if somehow I should be provoking those of my flesh to jealousy and should be saving some of them.

From this verse, Paul addresses the nations directly. The nations from here on are “you” and Israel are “they”. Although Paul himself is an Israelite (:1), he identifies here with “the nations”. He is one of them. A Roman and known by the Latin-Greek name Paul. Called abroad with the commission to proclaim “the evangel of the uncircumcision” (Gal. 2:7) among the nations. That he calls himself an “apostle (=delegate) of the nations” means that he counts himself among the nations and that from there he turns to his own “flesh and blood”.

The glory of Paul’s ministry is not that as a Jew he addresses the nations. No, the glory of his ministry to him is that he, as belonging to the nations, has a message from God for Israel! Through men of a strange tongue God speaks to his people. Precisely this reversal of affairs provokes envy and jealousy (as was foretold; 10:19,20). But some understand the message and are already being saved because of it.