While Martin Luther (1483-1546) has often rightly been castigated for his harsh words against the Jews, there is no question that he desired their salvation. In hoping that the Jews saw the riches of Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles, it is clear that he saw no distinction under the Gospel between Gentile and Jew and recognized that all people need to reorient their lives towards the blessings made available only through Christ in order to be reconciled with God.

Romans 11:13

I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry

Commentary on Romans 11:13

How does he magnify his ministry? By glorying in the fact that even though the Jews have fallen, he is announcing to the Gentiles the riches of Christ. For he seems to be reproving the Jews for receiving nothing and diminishing themselves and making themselves sinners, whereas through his ministry the Gentiles have been made rich. Therefore, if such great good had come out of the Gentiles through his ministry, whereas it was taken away from the Jews, by this action he is surely proving the greatness of his ministry. But he does not glorify in such a way that he thereby brings pleasure to himself, but he does it for the salvation of others, so that the Jews, when they hear that they have fallen and that the Gentiles have been made rich and have accepted their riches, might be stimulated to seek the riches of the same ministry. But they would not be so stimulated if he said he had ministered something worthless to the Gentiles or that the Jews had lost nothing.

Romans 9–16, eds. Philip D. W. Krey and Peter D.S. Krey, Reformation Commentary on Scripture, NT Vol. VIII, 100.


RCS Series on Romans 9–16

“Grace Is from God Alone.” Domingo de Soto on Romans 9:6-13.

“The Chain of Preaching.” David Pareus on Romans 10:14.

“The Ministry to Gentiles Is for the Benefit of the Jews.” Martin Luther on Romans 11:13.

February 27: “God’s Word on Civil Matters.” Philipp Melanchthon on Romans 13:1-7.

March 6: “Ancient Plague of Adiaphora.” Wolfgang Musculus on Romans 14.

March 13: “Good Works Flow from Faith Alone.” Tilemann Hesshus on Romans 14:23.

March 20: “Scripture Is for Our Benefit and Growth.” John Calvin on Romans 15:4.

March 27: “Simple, Excellent and Honorable Greetings as Examples for Us.” Johann Wild on Romans 16:1.