There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, (ESV)
The Bible that we have today is a revelation. It reveals God to mankind. Within its pages you will discover the story of how God made a human couple in his image. That couple fell into sin and thereby condemned the whole human race with a sinful nature. God entered the picture in the person of Jesus Christ, who lived a perfect life and sacrificed that life at the hands of unjust men to purchase forgiveness for all who would believe.
This revelation that has been given to us came at quite a price. God had chosen the Israelite people, the Jews, to be the first recipients of his message of salvation. What a distinct privilege it was for them to be chosen by God. Yet, we discover in the Gospels that Jesus came unto his own, but they did not receive him, but instead they had him nailed to the cross.
Paul is talking about judgment for all mankind in this verse. He makes a distinction that the Jews, who were the first to receive the message of salvation, would also be the first to receive judgment if they refuse that message. The one who does evil is the one who has rejected the message of forgiveness. If they had received it, they would no longer be known by "doing evil."
Paul himself was a Jew. He had a great love for his fellow countrymen. He went out of his way to preach first to the Jew. What was his reward? He was harassed in every city by the Jews. They falsely accused him, and he would eventually put to death by the sword. Paul experienced a very similar fate to the Savior he loved.
What a tragedy it is that the Jews have largely rejected the one who came to bring them redemption. Continue to pray that the eyes of Jews today will be opened to the wonderful Gospel of Jesus Christ.
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