Then we need preachers of the gospel! That’s how I read Romans 10:11-17. What is more, in the context of 10:18-21, this gospel preaching about Jesus Christ is to designed to provoke “Israel” — who is Israel? — to faith. Out of jealous (not envy).
Paul asks four questions to make his point:
1.How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?
2. And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?
3. And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
4. And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?
Let me add a question to Paul’s, and ask you to answer it today:
Who are the “they” in the “how can they call on the one they have not believed in?” Is this the Gentiles and the Jews of 10:11-13, or is the Israelites of 10:18-21? That’s a good question.
Which leads to this: Is Paul’s Gentile mission in part designed to provoke Israel to be jealous of its own status with the Covenant God, manifest now in the Messiah, and to return to covenant relationship? Do you think it is possible Paul is out in the Diaspora working the sticks in order to prompt the Israel of those lands to return to God?