Now here is a chapter that will challenge your understanding!
Paul is making the point that God did not reject the Jews. Paul was a religious Jew who persecuted Christians because he was so zealous over the Jewish religion. But, Jesus still revealed HImself to Paul so that he could be saved. There still was a remnant of believing Jews. But some Jews rejected Jesus and thier minds were darkened and their hearts hardened. As branches of The Vine of LIfe, who is now Jesus, they were cut off because of their unbelief and lack of faith in Jesus. But, believing Gentiles became grafted in branches. Yet, no one should get arrogant about this because if any branch persists in unbelief, it will be cut off. You could also be cut off. And should an unbelieving Jew come to Jesus in faith, it is even easier to restore that branch to its original Vine. I am questioning if this speaks to the question of “once saved always saved”. It seems God is faithful, but we have a choice to walk away.
Beginning in verse 25, here is another mystery of God. In reading the New Testament, we read that salvation for the Gentiles was a mystery. Now, Israel is experiencing hardening of heart until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in…..and yet God plans to save all Israel! They are loved on account of the patriarchs and His promises to them. God’s gifts and call are irrevocable. Everyone, Jew and Gentile, has been bound to disobedience so that God can have mercy on all. No one can brag. God’s wisdom and judgements are unsearchable and beyond tracing down. Who knows the mind of God? From Him, through Him, and for Him are all things. I think the mystery is in how God will save all Israel and what that means. I wonder….could this be part of the purpose for the Mellennium reign of Jesus on the earth after His return? I believe it is a mystery of mercy.