Romansby David Cook
The gospel always quells human pride and arrogance. God is attracted by our weakness and repelled by our pride. Gentiles should not be proud, for just as God did not spare Israel because of her unbelief, He will not spare unbelief in those branches that have been grafted in (vv. 17–21)—that is, the Gentiles.
God is both kind and stern. If He is able to graft a wild branch, like the Gentiles, into the tree, then He is more than able to regraft the natural branches (Israel) when they believe in Christ (vv. 22–24).
The mystery (referred to in Ephesians 1:9–10 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13) is now revealed. God is at work through the hardening and softening of hearts to bring the full number of Gentiles into His kingdom, so that “all Israel (that is, all the elect Jews and Gentiles) will be saved” (v. 26). Therefore, the hardening of ethnic Israel is both temporary and purposeful.
This means there is a place in God’s purpose for ongoing evangelism among both Jews and Gentiles.
Jewish resistance -> Gentile belief -> Jewish envy -> Full number of Gentiles has come in -> All Israel (believing Jews and Gentiles) are saved.
Additionally, this may also mean that in the end times (v. 15), we might well see the widespread turning of Jews to Jesus as the Christ. God’s purpose is to be merciful to Jews and Gentile alike (vv. 30–32).
Verses 33 to 36 are a final doxology that closes chapters 1 to 11. God’s wisdom and knowledge are beyond ours. It is not a result of our advice. God is in no way indebted to us. He is the originator of all things—“from Him”; the director of all things—“through Him”; the object of all things—“to Him” (v. 36).
One writer states, “The leading principle is that God is the source of all good; that in fallen people there is neither merit nor ability; that salvation consequently is all of grace, as is sanctification, pardon, election and glory.” For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!
Reflect on God’s merciful dealings with you.
What is mercy? How has God shown you mercy?
In what ways does this passage encourage you to be humble?