June 10, 2015
In last week’s lesson, we discussed God’s judicial blinding, or hardening, of the nation of Israel for their rejection of Christ as the Messiah and their subsequent rejection of the gospel message. Paul described for us the place of special religious privilege the Jews had been granted by God as the channel of God’s message of salvation for the world. But their rejection of God’s plan and His Son, Jesus, as the Promised Messiah caused God to remove them, temporarily, from this place of religious privilege. Since the day of Pentecost, it has been the church, that body of true believers, who have now occupied the position of being God’s channel of the gospel message to the world.
So, Paul has given the Gentiles a warning that they should not be proud of the fall of the Jews and their own rise to a position of religious privilege, for this is but a temporary state of affairs, as well. Without a doubt, God’s plan for dealing with Israel includes their restoration to the position of being the channel of salvation for the world.
In this podcast Paul uses the illustration of the olive tree to explain to the believing Gentiles what God is doing by dealing with Israel during this period, the relative positions of the Jews and Gentiles in God’s plan, and the power and purpose of God to restore Israel to its place of spiritual privilege.