Paul’s Desire of Salvation for the Jews
Rom 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.
Rom 10:2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.
Rom 10:3 For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.
Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
v1 – The ‘them’ in this verse is the Jews. Referring back to Chapter 9:1-3 we read, “I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,“
v2 – To testify about them means to be a witness; to give evidence. This, Paul was well qualified to do. He had been a Jew of the strictest order and he well knew the extraordinary exertions which they put forth to obey the commands of the Law. He knew they had a zeal for God. However, their zeal was not according to knowledge, but tradition.
v3 – This ignorance of the Jews was voluntary, and therefore of a criminal nature. The apostle here never says or alludes to the idea they could not have known, for had the studied attentively their own scriptures, they would have been led to the true knowledge of the Messiah and His righteousness. However, the fact they were ignorant, though not an excuse, is introduced here, doubtless as a mild and mitigating circumstance that should take the severity of what he might appear to be saying. Yes, they should have known, but many we taught by the elders in this way. Therefore, they chose not to subject themselves to the righteousness of the Messiah, but to the law.
v4 – Here Paul is saying that Christ was the completion or fulfillment of the law. Christ Himself has within Himself all that the law demands for justification, in essence, perfect fulfillment of the law. And this justification is imparted upon those who believe whether Jew or Gentile.