What Does Romans 15:8 Mean?

For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers,

Romans 15:8(NASB)

Verse of the Day

How could it be that the great God of the universe Who made heaven and earth and all that is in them, humbled Himself and became a servant to Israel? How is it that the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Lord of all, became a minister to the Jewish nation?

How could it be that God's Anointed, Who is above all, over-all, and sustains all, could place Himself in a position of such inferiority towards His own people? How could it be that Christ became a servant to the circumcision, even though He knew they would despise Him, reject Him, condemn Him, and nail Him to a Cross?

Paul supplies the answer. Christ became a servant to the circumcision in order to show the veracity of God. The Messiah of Israel became a humble minister to the Jewish people to show that God is truthful, honest, compassionate, and gracious. He became their servant as an advocate of truth so He could confirm to His people, Israel, that the promises of God given to their fathers, are trustworthy and true.

The Lord made some very specific promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David. The promises given to these fathers were not dependent on any terms or conditions. God did not stipulate that bad behaviour, apostasy, rebellion, or anything else would cancel these pledges: "To the fathers." They were unconditional promises, and Jesus set aside His heavenly glory and became a Man so the promises of God to Israel's forefathers would not fail.

Jesus had to come to the lost sheep of the house of Israel first, because the promises of God had to be fulfilled through Israel. The Son of God had to come as a minister to His own people during His earthly life, because the offer of the kingdom had to be made to Israel first. Scripture tells us: "Salvation is through the Jews because salvation is through Christ."

Had Christ gone to the Gentiles before He went to the Jews, the promises made to Israel's forefathers would have been broken. God promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that the promised Seed Who would save the world, would come from their loins, and He pledged that a King from David's lineage would be seated on His eternal kingdom. Salvation is through the Jews because the Saviour was to be born a Jew.

Salvation had to come through the Jews because the Author of salvation had to be born into the Jewish race, to "fulfil the promises made to the fathers." Through Him, all the families of the earth would be blessed. Through Him, the promised kingdom of heaven on earth would be set up. He would sit on the throne of His father, David, and of His kingdom there would be no end. But first the entire nation of Israel must repent of their sin and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, but they would not.

Christ came to the circumcision first so that they could be forgiven of centuries of apostasy, by faith in Jesus, the eternal Son of God and perfect Son of Man. Only then could the nation of Israel fulfil their ministry of being a light to the Gentiles, but they refused and God set Israel aside, for a season, while He continued His work of redemption through the Church.

God knows the end from the beginning. He knew Israel would reject their Messiah. He knew Christ would have to go through the shame of ministering to a people who despised and hated Him. God knew He would have to continue His work of redemption through the Gentiles from every nation, because of Israel's rejection. But had Jesus not come to the people of Israel first, then the Lord God could be accused of breaking His promises to the forefathers, and so we read: "Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God, to confirm the promises given to the fathers."

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You that You are a good and faithful God, Who keeps His promises to the children of men. Thank You that Jesus set aside His exalted glory and was born into the Jewish race, as prophesied of old. He came as Israel's Servant-King, knowing He would not be received by His own people, but would suffer rejection, humiliation, and death at their hands. Thank You that by Christ's life, death, and Resurrection, You have proved to Israel, the Church, and the Gentile nations, that You are a God Who is faithful to His promises, and Whose holy Word stands fast forever and ever. Praise Your holy name, AMEN.

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