For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first…
The gospel should be preached first to the Jews, because —
I. JUDGMENT WILL BEGIN WITH THEM (Romans 2:6-10). Why is this? Because they have had more light than any other people. God chose them out of the world to be His witnesses. Every prophet, evangelist, and apostle was sent first to them. Christ said, "I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." The Word of God is still addressed to them. Yet they have sinned against all this light and love. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem," etc. Their cup of wrath is fuller than that of other men. Is not this a reason, then, why the gospel should first be preached to the Jew? They are ready to perish — to perish more dreadfully than other men. In an hospital the physician runs first to the worst case. When the sailors have left the shore to save the sinking crew they first help those that are readiest to perish. And shall we not do the same for Israel? The billows of God's anger are ready to dash first over them — shall we not seek to bring them first to the Rock that is higher than they? Yes, and some of you are in a situation very similar to that of Israel — you who have the Word of God in your hands and yet are unbelieving and unsaved, Think how like your wrath will be to that of the unbelieving Jew.
II. IT IS LIKE GOD. It is the chief glory and joy of a soul to be like God. Too many rest in the joy of being forgiven. We should be like God in understanding, in will, in holiness, and also in His peculiar affections; and the whole Bible shows that God has a peculiar affection for Israel (Deuteronomy 7:7; Lamentations 4:2; Jeremiah 12:7). Shall we be ashamed to cherish the same affection as our heavenly Father?
III. THERE IS PECULIAR ACCESS TO THE JEWS.
IV. THEY WILL GIVE LIFE TO THE DEAD WORLD. A reflective traveller, passing through the countries of this world, and observing the race of Israel in every land, might be led to guess, merely from the light of his natural reason, that that singular people are preserved for some great purpose in the world. There is a singular fitness in the Jew to be the missionary of the world. They have not that peculiar attachment to home and country which we have. They are also inured to every clime; they are to be found amid the snows of Russia and beneath the burning sun of Hindostan. They are also in some measure acquainted with all the languages of the world, and yet have one common language — the holy tongue — in which to communicate with one another. But what says the Word of God? (Read Zechariah 8:13, 23; Micah 5:7)
(R. M. McCheyne.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
WEB: For I am not ashamed of the Good News of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes; for the Jew first, and also for the Greek.