“I don’t want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you will not be conceited…” (Romans 11:25)
SPOILER ALERT! Paul spoils the ending of the salvation story so that we all are protected from pride! What is this spoiler? It is about God’s plan, that everything was made to show God’s great mercy. All of history has a purpose, that both Gentiles and Jews will be trapped in disobedience, and that God may have mercy on them all (11:32).
Why does Paul give away this spoiler to the biggest story in history? Because he knows how easy it is to be prideful. Paul repeatedly tells his readers that he does not want them to be ignorant and commands them not to be conceited. “Beware,” Paul writes, because God has graced Gentiles but not the Jews right now; therefore, He will not spare you either (11:21). We must heed this warning today. Don’t be prideful! You are not “better” than an unbeliever. Salvation is a gift freely given by God; it is not a right. That is why we call it grace.
What should be our response? Let us be amazed by grace, not looking down on those who fail to believe. Who knows? God may one day save them. Let us be amazed that God even dared to look on us with love! And let us be amazed by God, like Paul was, so that we may humbly share God’s story in its fullness.