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Romans 10:20-21: "I Have Been Found By Those Who Did Not Seek Me"

Romans 10:20–21
[20] Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, “I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.” [21] But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.” (ESV)

The proclamation of the Gospel was a challenge for the first century Jews. Jesus himself was the message of the Gospel and they had him put to death. For them to embrace Jesus Christ would mean for them to admit that they had crucified the Son of God. They would have to admit that they were wrong about who he was, and that God had used their own stubbornness as part of his plan.

While it is true that the first believers in Jesus Christ were Jews, it is also true that the biggest persecution that the early Church faced was from Jews. Paul himself was one of the Jews who was going house to house arresting Christians and trying to put an end to this group of followers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In today's verses Paul is quoting the prophet Isaiah and helping us to see that the reception of the Gospel by the Gentiles and the rejection of the Gospel by the Jews is not uncommon. The Jews had made a habit of being contrary to God. God says through the prophet that he has held out his hands to a disobedient and contrary people.

In contrast to the Jews the Gentiles are being described as those who were found by God even though they were not seeking him. God's heart of love is such that he takes the first step. He does not wait for us to draw near to him. Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ he has made a way for us to be made right with him. In our sinful state he reaches out to those who were not reaching up.

Jews and Gentiles were both chosen by God. If you belong to Him do not be "contrary and disobedient." Celebrate the reality that he reached out in love to you when you were not even seeking. Honor him with obedience.