Paul’s Joy and Grief in Telling about Jesus
Paul in Romans 9-11 takes up the message he celebrated in Rm 1-8 but with a new focus and intensity. The section begins in cries of grief and ends in exclamations of wonder (11:33-36).
He continues his focus on God’s faithfulness to his promises (God’s righteousness) that leads to salvation for both Jews and non-Jews in God’s people.
Paul’s grief flows from the repeated experience of proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah of Israel in synagogues in many Greek cities. Some Jews were convinced, but many refused to follow a crucified teacher and make the leap into a community that was not ethnically defined and without clear boundaries of legal practice to separate it from pagan society.