Paul ended the last chapter by saying that Israel had rejected the Messiah, and he begins this chapter by asking if God then, has rejected them.
And of course the answer is, “Of course not!”. God kept a remnant, a few out of the nation of Israel, who did believe, because of His divine grace.
And then Paul goes on to say that it is because of the unbelief of Israel that God extended grace to non-Jews, or Gentiles. Because of this, they were grafted into the vine. Another way of saying that is that God adopted them into His family.
You know, it’s a wonderful and awesome thing to be born into a family, but how much more special is it when a mom and a dad choose to adopt a child into their family? Children are usually born into a family in the natural course of events, right? But it takes a special effort and will to adopt a child. This is what God had done for those of us who are not Jewish. We are especially loved and chosen.
But we should be aware, Paul says, that natural branches were broken off from the olive tree so that we might be grafted in. That means that we have a special responsibility to be faithful. And also be mindful that if God broke off the natural branches because of unbelief, He will not hesitate to do the same to the Gentile. Now, lest this thought scare you, Paul also reminds us that God’s grace extends even to those Jews who He cut off. If they return to faith, He will graft them back onto the olive tree.
This is the message that flows through all of scripture: if you are unfaithful, you will suffer the consequences. But if you return, God will forgive and bless you.
My friend, it is never too late to say “I’m sorry” to God. If you have something that has caused a separation between you and God, if you confess that to Him, He will forgive you. That is the gift we have because of the death and resurrection of Jesus. We don’t deserve that kind of forgiveness, but that’s how much He loves us. Amen.