3 … my kinsmen according to the flesh 4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, 5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen (Romans 9).
Paul didn’t see his fellow unbelieving Jews as idiots and nincompoops for their unbelief. No, he didn’t look down upon them at all. Rather, he saw them as descendants of the man (Israel) for whom the name of their race was given, and therefore as rightful heirs of the Kingdom, with all of its glory. He saw them as those chosen people who had been entrusted with the Laws and covenants and promises of God, who were privileged to worship the One, True God in a temple where God himself had actually dwelt. But, best of all, Paul saw them as the most blessed of people out of whom the very Son of God came. (And, isn’t it interesting that we read this on the heels of celebrating Christmas?)
What an example to us, as we observe unbelief all around us. Although the vast majority of them are Gentiles, still, every single one of them bears the image of God within them, though that image be marred by sin. They are still His image-bearers, and that makes them very special indeed. And lest we forget, let us be reminded that apart from the grace of God, we ourselves would still live in unbelief.
Lord, it seems we must always be reminded to give thanks for Your grace in our lives. Help us This Day to love those around us and not look down upon them for their unbelief. Help us to see all people as very special people indeed. Amen.