The Affinity of the Natural Branches
couples this verse to the conclusion from the previous verse:
the natural Jewish branches are more likely to be grafted into the olive tree than the wild Gentile branches.
"blindness in part... until"
The current blindness of Israel in rejecting Messiah Jesus has two
some Jews, the believing remnant, the
"Israel of God,"
will always see the truth.
It has a limit: when the fullness of Gentiles has come in the blindness
will be removed.
An Informed Opinion
Paul warns the Gentiles not to be misled, lest they conclude that
Israel's faithless condition will never change. Their understanding of
Israel in the plan of God must recognize the
nature of the current blindness.
11:26 - Israel will be Saved
"all Israel will be saved"
There are three main interpretive views of the identity represented by the phrase,
all Israel: 1)
The believing Jews during the present age.
The ethnic nation of Israel.
of these views (#3) represents consistent interpretation:
Israel means Israel!
Believing Israel Becomes All Israel
Scripture paints the harsh reality: 1) the believing remnant will grow in size with time; 2) unbelieving Jews will be cut off from Israel and will not enter the millennial kingdom
Two Circles Become One
11:26-27 - A Deliverer From Zion
"as it is written"
Paul refers to Old Testament passages which indicate that God will turn ungodliness away from the Jews
A Covenant Dealing with Sin
The promise that God would turn away ungodliness from Jacob (Israel) is part of the promised fulfillment of the New Covenant which includes the spiritual restoration of the Jews
The New Covenant was initiated by Christ's work of atonement on the cross for the remission of sins
Dual Ministry of Christ
Isaiah describes the
of Christ in relation to Gentiles and Jews. He is a
light for the Gentiles
who were without the Law of Moses,
but also is prophesied to
raise up the tribes of Jacob(Isa. 49:5-6).
The second aspect is often overlooked today.
11:28-29 - Beloved Enemies
The unbelieving Jews are
because they oppose the gospel entrusted to the believing Gentiles.
on account of the fathers.
The believing Gentiles would have nothing
to believe in except for the faithfulness of the
fathers of the unbelieving Jews. So we believing Gentiles owe an
incredible debt to the forefathers of today's Jews -- both believing
Israel is Chosen
These same unbelieving Jews who are enemies are beloved because of the calling of the nation which began with the election of the fathers: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Israel is the only
ever to have been specially chosen by God
Israel's Special Role Continues
Israel's gifts and calling were not forfeited at her rejection of Messiah Jesus at His first coming
11:30-31 - Disobedience and Mercy
Prior to the cross, In their disobedience, the Gentiles were strangers from the covenants,
having no hope and without God
In contrast, Israel was given numerous blessings which other nations were not afforded
At the cross, Messiah Jesus was rejected by the majority within Israel, and the blessing of the gospel went out to the Gentiles
Through Israel's disobedience the Gentiles obtained mercy.
Disobedience Followed By Mercy
For both Gentiles and Jews, the disobedience of the majority is followed
by God's mercy in turning them to Himself when they otherwise would not
11:32 - All Disobedient
Both Jews and Gentiles Disobedient
History demonstrates that all of mankind, both Jew and Gentile, has been
There is no room for an attitude of superiority by either.
History is Unfinished
At any given point in history, Jews or Gentiles may exhibit greater
obedience to God. At the time of Paul's writing, like today, the Gentiles were more responsive to God. Paul's point is that
it will not always be so.
11:33-35 - The Wisdom and Knowledge of God
God's Ways Past Finding Out
Paul refers to
to emphasize the inscrutable wonders of God's plan. God does not reveal His plans in entirety nor is He answerable to anybody for it. However, we are responsible for that which
(Deu. 29:29). This includes understanding that God will redeem the nation of Israel by
His Ways Higher
The rebellion of both Jews and Gentiles through history will demonstrate
the marvellous workings and mercy of God. The response of the Gentile believers at Rome -- and our response -- should be reverent humility and complete obedience to what God has revealed.
11:36 - Of Him, To Him, Through Him
God is the ultimate First Cause. He is the source
of all things. He alone is Creator. All else is creature or creation.
He is the active agent and upholder of all things.
All things exist for His purpose and pleasure. He is the ultimate
purpose and goal for which creation exists -- for His glory and pleasure.
Ignorance breeds Arrogance
- Paul did not want the Gentile believers to be ignorant of God's plan
to spiritually restore Israel. To remain ignorant would lead them to
have too high of a view of their own opinion. A failure to
carefully study the
entire Bible along with an unwillingness to be grammatically
consistent in our interpretation
has led some believers to oppose God's stated purpose for
Israel. May we not be among them!
All Israel will be Saved
- At a time yet future, Christ will turn away unbelief from Israel.
The believing remnant will increase in size and unbelieving Jews
will perish without entering the millennial kingdom. At that time,
the believing remnant and the nation will be one-and-the same.
Those who are cut off are analogous to the faithless generation of
Jews who were barred from the Promised Land and perished in the
wilderness. The prophesied regeneration of Israel, and judgment
of nonbelieving Jews, should motivate
the Church to place a high priority on Jewish evangelism. This
was Paul's own pattern throughout the Book of Acts.
Both Jews and Gentiles Disobedient
- When history winds to an end, both Jew and Gentile will be shown
to be equally disobedient and in need of God's mercy.
The mercy we Gentiles obtained in our disobedience of the past
will also be extended to the Jews in the future. Let us not
be like the faithful son who became jealous when the prodigal son
The restoration of Israel will bring
incredible blessings for all God's people.