If Israel’s rejection means the reconciliation of the world

Romans 11 is so rich a chapter that it’s enough to leave a sheep’s head spinning.  It’s this mind-blowing nature of these truths that leaves Paul writing,

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! – Romans 11:33

I still have much to learn, but from what I see, by God’s grace, Paul is explaining God’s amazing, beautiful plan of redemption.  Stand back and behold.

We learn in Romans 11 that it was God’s purpose that the Jews largely rejected Jesus, and this would, in turn, lead to the salvation of Gentiles.  This is shown to us in the book of Acts.  Up to chapter 6 in Acts, evangelism has, for the most part, been confined to Judea.  But then when Stephen was martyred, this led to the dispersion of many Christians to other areas, where they then shared the gospel.  The Jews rejected the gospel, and so it went out to the Gentiles.

Then, Paul writes,

Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean! – Romans 11:12

So, it seems that this hardening of the Jews (except the remnant) is temporary.  And, in fact, God has plans for their full inclusion.

Then, Paul writes about his own office as the Apostle to the Gentiles, saying that his desire is that as he preaches Christ to Gentiles, the Jews would be jealous and believe.  So, the inclusion of the Jews is still by faith.

Paul, then, points to the end of the story.

For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? – Romans 11:15

What this seems to be saying is that Israel (except the remnant, those who believe) has been rejected.  As a result of that rejection, the world has been and is being saved by the spreading of the gospel.  But once the full number of Gentiles have been saved, the Jews will once again be accepted, that is, a great multitude of Israelites who are alive will repent and believe on Jesus, and then that signals life from the dead: the final resurrection.

Sheep, is your mind blown?  God brought out a Savior, the Savior, from the nation of Israel.  By His divine will, they rejected Him, and as a result, the gospel has gone far and wide out of national Israel.  And it will be that salvation that will one day make the Jews jealous and turn back to God through Christ.  This sheep’s head is spinning, but it’s spinning in delight of God’s masterful plan.  Chew on this and enjoy the riches of His word.


One thought on “If Israel’s rejection means the reconciliation of the world

  1. I believe that you stumbled upon what Paul will later call in Colossians “the mystery of God”. He also explains this in Ephesians, where we read in the first chapter that “we who were first to hope in Christ might be for the praise of His glory”, and again in verse 13-14, “you were marked… with… the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession.” Who are “those who are God’s possession”? Israel. The astounding message of the Gospel is that God has actually postponed the uniting of Himself unto His bride so that you and I could be grafted into this thing called “Israel”, and that we would receive an inheritance with them, no longer Gentiles, but now a part of the commonwealth of Israel. This should cause for both joy and grief, for what is it that must take place in order that God will redeem they who have temporarily been cast off?

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