Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision?
At the end of chapter two, Paul made several strong statements about the Jewish people:
- There is no difference between Jews and Gentiles in salvation.
- Being Jewish won’t save you.
- Having the law won’t save Jews.
- Being circumcised won’t save you.
- A true Jew is a Jew inwardly, not outwardly.
By the end of chapter two, Paul’s readers would think, “Wait a minute! Aren’t the Jews God’s chosen people? Doesn’t that matter! If there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles, then what advantage is it to be Jewish? Does circumcision have value?”
Paul’s immediate and emphatic answer: “Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God” (3:2). When Paul begins to enumerate the advantages of being Jewish, the first thing he thinks of is the Word of God. “The Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.” They were entrusted with the very words of God. And this is a treasure beyond all compare!
The preface to the ESV states of the Bible:
“This Book [is] the most valuable thing that this world affords. Here is Wisdom; this is the royal Law; these are the lively Oracles of God.” With these words the Moderator of the Church of Scotland hands a Bible to the new monarch in Britain’s coronation service. These words echo the King James Bible translators, who wrote in 1611: “God’s sacred Word… is that inestimable treasure that excelleth all the riches of the earth.”
Is this God’s sacred Word to you? Do you see the Bible as the oracles of God, the very words of God? If so, you will read it, delight in it, memorize it, study it, obey it and share it.
O Lord, may I treasure your holy Word.