Explore Sermons By Dr. Lloyd-Jones

Tragedy of the Jews

Book of Romans

A Sermon on Romans 10:18-21

But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for

“Their voice has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.”

But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,

“I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;
with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”

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.”

But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.” (ESV)

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As it pertains to human knowledge, human understanding, or human works, the Jews of Paul’s day would be in a position of entire advantage. Yet the majority of Jews, as Paul laments in Romans, did not obey the gospel. Why? Moreover, what does it mean that Paul cites Scripture against the Jews calling them “disobedient” and “gainsaying”? In this sermon on Romans 10:18–21 titled “Tragedy of the Jews,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones grounds the tragedy of the Jews in God’s sovereign election and their prejudice against the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation belongs to the Lord, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds the listener. The way of salvation from old covenant to the new covenant is determined by the sovereign grace of God. The “whosoever” of salvation is tied to “whosoever” as God determines, whether that is predominantly Jews or predominantly Gentiles. But Dr. Lloyd-Jones leaves room for human responsibility as well. Many of the Jews in the first century were simply set against the gospel. Jesus experienced this in His earthly ministry with the Pharisees as did Paul in his ministry. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones tackles the topic of divine sovereignty and human responsibility and as Paul explained the tragedy of the Jews, Dr. Lloyd-Jones calls the church to self-examination and praise in the sovereign election of God.

Additional Scripture Translations

Romans 10:18-21, New American Standard Bible (NASB)

18But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? On the contrary:

“Their voice has gone out into all the earth,

And their words to the ends of the world.”

19But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? First Moses says,

“I will make you jealous with those who are not a nation,

With a foolish nation I will anger you.”

20And Isaiah is very bold and says,

“I was found by those who did not seek Me,

I revealed Myself to those who did not ask for Me.”

21But as for Israel, He says, “I have spread out My hands all day long to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

Romans 10:18-21, King James Version (KJV)

18But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. 19But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. 20But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. 21But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.