Israel Is A Prophetic Trigger: Romans 11:11-32
“11) I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. 12) Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! 13) But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14) if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. 15) For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16) And if the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.” Romans‬ ‭11:11-16‬
Paul eagerly wanted the Jewish nation to turn to Jesus and accept Him as Messiah, but he understood that Israel was a trigger. Many individual Jewish people were hearing the gospel and being saved in his day, but the nation as a whole remained in a state of rejection.
Look very closely at verse 15), “For if their rejection be the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead.” When the nation of Israel moves from rejection to acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah, it will trigger the big event on God’s calendar. A new age will begin.
So what do I mean by a “new age.” Let me briefly explain. Just prior to His assertion as recorded in Acts 1:6-8, the disciples asked Jesus an important question; “6) … Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the Kingdom to Israel?” They understood according to numerous Old Testament prophecies that a very unique time of restoration was promised for Israel.
Isaiah 11:1-16 is a prime example of this promised age of restoration. It will be marked by many unique characteristics including a significant expansion of human life span and harmony within all of Creation. (Review Romans 8:18-25)
Notice how Jesus responded to this question from His disciples; “7) It is not for you to know the times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8) but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and even to the remotes part of the earth.”
That response is profound! Jesus was talking about epochs of time. He was talking about unique ages. He did not deny that an age of restoration was coming for Israel, but He pointed to another age that must come first. It could be called “The Age of the Indwelling Holy Spirit”, or “The Church Age,” or even “The Age of the Gentiles”. The gospel was about to go to the remotest parts of the earth.
Back to our text. In Romans 11:11-32, Paul was juggling with this mystery. In fact, in Romans 11:25 he even called it a “mystery.”
So what was this mystery? Why did Israel reject Jesus as their Messiah? Does God have a plan to get things back on track for Israel? Will God keep His promise to Israel for a time of restoration as questioned by the disciples?
Let me point out that Revelation chapter twenty talks about a millennium reign of Christ on earth. During that time, the Messiah will reign on earth for 1,000 years and fulfill every Old Testament prophecy or promise of the restoration for Israel.
The disciples were asking Jesus the right question about prophecy and a restoration for Israel, they were merely off by 2,000 years. But God is always on time.
As mentioned in a previous post, one thing that led to the nation of Israel rejecting Jesus as Messiah was the timing. They understood He was coming at the end of the six millennium of biblical history and not the end of the forth millennium as was the case with His nativity and virgin birth as recorded in the four Gospels. It confused the Jewish scholars.
So where are we at the current time in biblical history? We are right at the sunset of the sixth millennium! We are back on the Jewish prophetic calendar for the promised Messiah! Or as Paul was arguing in Romans 11:11-16, we are at the dawn of Israel moving from rejection to acceptance of the Messiah. A huge trigger is about to be pulled by the Nation of Israel related to the Messiah.
Let me make a brief observation. We hear a lot of talk about “The End Times!” Technically that is not an accurate phrase. Biblically it should be modified to “The End of This Age” or “The End of This Epoch.” When it happens, it will be more of a transition to something radically new and different than the mistaken notion of “the end of all things.”
This also means that God is not done with planet earth yet! Jesus is going to rule and reign here for 1,000 years according to Revelation 20 before the new heaven and new earth of Revelation 21 unfolds. That will be the time of restoration for Israel and every Old Testament prophecy will be fulfilled.
I fully believe everything about the tribulation that will accompany this transition to the earthly reign of the Messiah. In fact, I believe we are in the birth pangs Jesus talked about in Matthew 24:8. The contractions have started. Keep your eyes on Israel and the Middle East. Very unique days are upon us.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global