What does it say? In anguish over Israel’s sin, Paul wished that he could be cursed and cut off from Christ for their sake.
What does it mean? God had given Israel multiple spiritual advantages: adoption, God’s glory, the covenants, the Law, service in the temple, the promises, the patriarchs, and the human ancestry of Christ. Yet they still rejected Jesus as the promised Messiah. God loved Israel but would deal with them justly. Paul felt intense pain over their spiritual condition. His heart reflected the compassionate heart of Christ. Paul knew, of course, that it was impossible for him to be cursed for their sin, but the statement shows he is willing to do anything short of sin to bring his countrymen to salvation in Christ.
How should I respond? What causes your heart to hurt? America has truly been blessed by God’s goodness, yet her rejection of God and truth are at an all-time high. Do you grieve for the spiritual condition of your countrymen? How does this chapter encourage you to pray for our nation? As you grow in Christ-likeness, His compassion for unbelievers will overwhelm your heart. Do you know someone who has continued to reject Jesus as Savior? What is God directing you to do in order to show His love to them?