THE FULLNESS OF THE GENTILES

Scripture Reading: Romans 11:25-32

“Lest you be wise in your own conceit, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” (Romans 11:25)

Paul uses the word “mystery” to mean something that has been hidden in the past that is now being revealed. He used the term in Ephesians 3:4-6 where he wrote — “This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promises of Christ Jesus through the gospel” (Ephesians 3:6). In Romans 11 Paul refers to the grafting in of many Gentiles into the people of God by using the phrase “the fullness of the Gentiles.”

Paul continue to explain the mystery that a partial hardening of the Jewish people has come. God is using this partial hardening to bring Gentiles into His covenant community. But at some time in the future, this partial hardening will end and many Jews will come to faith in Christ — “And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to grasp them in again” (v. 23).

Let me emphasize that there is not a Plan B to bring the Jews back into God’s family. There is only one plan — the gospel of Jesus Christ. Evidently there will be a time when many Jewish people will come to Christ and will be grafted in again. We should be praying for that time to come soon.

Paul sums it up — “Just as you (Gentiles) were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you, they may now receive mercy” (vs. 30,31).

Lord Jesus, I pray that I will see in my life time a fresh movement of Your Spirit among Jewish people. I pray that many Jews will have their eyes opened to the truth of the gospel and that they will come to You as their Savior and Lord. Thank You for grafting me into Your family. Let me be a faithful witness of Your grace to others.

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