Romans 2:19 NASB
“and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,”
The Jew thought himself a light of the Law of God. Chosen by God to establish the Law in belief and practice, they found themselves boastful and prideful in their adherence to God’s ordinances. They believed themselves to be a light to the Gentile even though the Gentile had the Law written on his heart vs15. Its true, the Jew was given something special and insightful to the character of God and His plan to redeem the world. However, this unique position of the Jew was not intended to give him a sense of pride but of humility. The Law ought to bring a sense of reverence and conviction of sin, but instead produced the opposite in them. This isn’t in the fault of the Law, rather mans condition revealed by the Law. The Jew thought they were a guide to the Gentile who lived in darkness. But little did they know, that the Gentile had the Law written on their heart and a conscience that also revealed to them the knowledge of right and wrong.
Paul is again, proving to the Jews that they are prideful and dependent on the Law for their righteousness. Why does Paul so aggressively break down the systematic pride of the Jew? The answer is right here in this passage. They are so confident in their status before God, so confident as to their moral standing in the world, so confident in their righteousness, that Paul must help them understand that this is all worthless. Their righteousness is not enough to be justified before God. The Law was not intended to be a means of receiving justification, it was a means of bringing a chosen people to their knees in humility and recognition of their brokenness before God. The Law pointed to Jesus, the Jew would rather have the Law and be judged by it rather then have Jesus and be judged by the covering of His righteousness.