24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
out of the wild olive — Gentiles (strangers to the covenants)
natural branches — Israel (covenant people)
mystery — divine truth previously unknown
blindness in part — not universal or final
fullness of the Gentiles — completeness of God’s offering of salvation to Gentiles apart from Israel — not exactly the same as the church, but the Gentiles in the church.
Our Lord, when on earth, said to the Samaritan woman:Ye worship ye know not what: We know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22).
But after Paul had testified to the Jews from Jerusalem to Rome, almost in vain, he said:Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles and that they will hear it (Acts 28:28).
This latter, the salvation of the Gentiles through Israel’s rejection of Christ, had never been prophesied; it was a secret, hid in God (Ephesians 3:9), hid from ages and from generations (Colossians 1:26), in other ages not made known (Ephesians 3:5), kept secret since the world began (Romans 16:25), until God made it known through Paul. — Stam, page 283.