What advantage then has the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?…
I. THERE IS MUCH ADVANTAGE TO THOSE FAVOURED WITH CLEARER LIGHT AND HIGHER PRIVILEGE, IN EVERY RESPECT. They have the advantage —
1. Of feeling that God cares for them. The heathen had, some of them, lost the knowledge of God altogether, and others were only dimly conscious of His goodness.
2. Of a superior temporal condition. They are delivered from the miseries inflicted by cruel superstitions, are able to cheek the progress of debasing immoralities, and to promote freedom, comfort, peace, and brotherhood.
3. Of better opportunity of performing what their better position demands. The man who possessed five talents had the advantage over his fellow. He had a better command of the market, and could stand a greater shock of adverse circumstances. They would help each other to grow; for five united are more than five times as strong as one, and more than two-and-a-half times as strong as two. An Israelite or a Christian may walk uprightly in his noonday light more easily than a heathen may walk at all in his dim twilight.
4. Of attaining, if faithful, an absolutely higher reward. As two statesmen of equal desert, and equally in favour, take higher and lower positions on account of their different capacities, so those who receive equally the King's commendation, "Well done, good and faithful servant," shall yet differ, as one star differeth from another, in glory.
II. THE GREATEST ADVANTAGE IS TO HAVE THE ORACLES OF GOD.
1. The knowledge they impart is a blessing. As day is more blessed than night; as freedom for thought is better than the fetters of ignorance, so the possession of these oracles is unspeakably better than deprivation of them.
2. It is a blessing to have assured Divine communication. As the spirit of a plebeian is lifted by a word or a look from his king; as the heart of an absent child is gladdened by the outside of his father's letter, so is man blessed by the fact that God has spoken to him.
3. It is an advantage to be thus taken into peculiar covenant relationship to God. Every precept of these oracles is a condition of some blessedness which God pledges Himself to bestow; and every promise contains God's oath of faithfulness to all to whom these oracles come. It is a high advantage to know that we are God's and God is ours, as we grasp in faith and obedience His sacred Word. Over our higher privileges it becomes us to "rejoice with trembling." With all thy responsibilities, thy greater required service, and thy heavier doom if faithless, still "Happy art thou, O Israel," "satisfied with favour, and full with the blessing of the Lord."
Parallel VersesKJV: What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
WEB: Then what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the profit of circumcision?