A SERVANT TO THE CIRCUMCISION
"Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers" (Romans 15:8, NKJV).
In His redemptive mission on earth, Christ first came to the "house of Israel" (Matthew 15:24, NKJV). In describing this phase of Christ's ministry, Paul refers to Israel as "the circumcision," a reference to God's covenant with the "house of Israel" of which circumcision was the sign and seal. In this role, Christ is called a "servant to the circumcision," meaning Israel.
The focal point in Paul's message in Romans 15:7-12 is the universality of God's grace manifested in Jesus Christ. This grace was fully exhibited toward Jews and Gentiles alike. God's universal strategy for redeeming the fallen race began with the "house of Israel." In fulfillment of prophecy, Christ came to Israel as the long-awaited Messiah. In His plan, Israel was to serve as His gateway to the rest of mankind. Through Israel the gospel was to be communicated to all the world. Israel was to be God's launching pad for the proclamation of the gospel everywhere. Jesus became a "servant of the circumcision," in order to confirm the promises and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God.
By coming to earth as a "servant of the circumcision," Christ has brought Jews and Gentiles together as recipients of the saving grace of God. It is by so doing that Christ has demolished the separating wall between Jews and Gentiles and has made them one through the gospel (see Ephesians 2:14). Through God's strategy of redemption, all races, cultures, classes, and peoples have been made one in Christ. "To Jew and Gentiles alike was the gospel preached under the direction of the Holy Spirit. The middle wall of partition that had separated the Jews was broken down in Christ Jesus."--Manuscript 111, October 22, 1906.
My Prayer Today: Lord, help me, in our fragmented society, to experience the unifying power of the gospel. Amen.