Unlimited: The Full Inclusion of Israel
May 23, 2023 257
But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring! (Romans 11:12).
Paul wrote in the preceding chapter that his “heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved” (10:1). He looks forward to the day of the “full inclusion” of Israel. What does the phrase “full inclusion” mean?
Some Christians think that this phrase means that every genetic member of “national” Israel will be saved. Clearly, however, the salvation of every Jewish person is not in Paul’s mind at all here, since he writes in the following verses:
I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them (Rom. 11:13–14.)
Paul looks forward to the day of the “full inclusion” of Israel.
Paul’s hope is that “some of them” might be saved, because he knows that not all of them will believe in Jesus.
Referring to Israel, “their loss” is contrasted with “their full inclusion.” The Greek word here is literally translated as “fulness”, the word elsewhere used by the apostle Paul to refer to the body of believers. We can see that the word is used here as a synonym for salvation; in other words, of salvation itself. There is no idea here that the entire Jewish nation will be saved.
The apostle is telling us that God can bring great blessing out of great tragedy. Do you know that to be true in your own life? Have you shared your story?