12 Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!
This verse sets forth two systems of blessing for two different groups: Jew and Gentile. In verse 12 Paul anticipated repentance of the nation Israel (cf. v. 26). Much greater blessing will come when Israel embraces the Messiah at the Second Coming.
12 Now if [it is true] their fall [trespass] is riches for the world [mankind],
Israel’s rejection or trespass against the Messiah brought an opportunity for others to come to Christ. The word “fall” means trespass. Trespass carries the idea that they crossed the line of the clear will of God in rejecting the principle of grace in salvation given by the Messiah. The gospel message was plain but they rejected it. Nevertheless, great spiritual riches for the world was a result of their violation of the principle of salvation by grace (vv. 5-6).
and their failure [to understand grace] riches [abundance of grace provision from God] for the Gentiles,
Great spiritual riches came to the Gentiles as well as to the world in general because of the failure of Israel to accept the Messiah as their Savior. Israel’s loss was the Gentiles’ gain. Israel’s rejection of the grace principle resulted in the wonderful grace of Jesus given to Gentiles.
The meaning of “failure” is defeat. Israel suffered spiritual defeat when rejecting the grace way of salvation.
How much more their [Israel] fullness!
Paul contrasted the word “fullness” with the idea of the smallness of the remnant who believed in Paul’s day. The “fullness” here is the nation Israel’s fullness and its blessing on Gentiles. If the trespass of Israel led to worldwide blessing, then their trust in the grace of the Messiah would lead to even greater blessing. There will be a time when Israel will embrace the grace principle fully as a nation. Paul argued from the lesser to the greater—“much more.” There is much greater blessing in grace than works.
God’s turn to the Gentiles is a temporary delay in His long-range program for Israel. Israel’s “fullness” is the Millennial kingdom of Jesus Christ. God will restore Israel’s national status after the Second Coming. This is a future day, when Jesus will establish His kingdom on earth. At that day Israel will rule with Jesus on earth. This will be a time of great blessing on earth. Israel will have accepted Jesus as the Messiah at His Second Coming (seven years after the Rapture). The “fullness,” then, is Israel’s restoration to her original status as God’s chosen people and its impact on Gentiles who believe by grace. The Tribulation and Millennium will also be a time of large-scale conversion for Gentiles (vv. 25-26).
God’s grace can come from desperate situations.
The Jews inadvertently made it possible for Gentiles to come to Christ. There is a link between the Jews’ failure to believe in Jesus the Messiah and Gentile salvation. The failure of the Jews made it possible for Gentiles to come to Christ.
With the coming of Christ, God changed the relationship between Jew and Gentile. Before His coming, God’s economy primarily dealt with the nation Israel. After Israel rejected Him as the Messiah, He turned to whosoever might come. Jesus broke down the partition between Jew and Gentile.
Eph 2:14, For He Himself is our peace, who has made both [Jew and Gentile] one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation [between Jew and Gentile],
Israel was God’s appointed channel of blessing to nations. Israel’s “fullness” will come when God lifts their blindness. However, the current spiritual blindness on the nation has created an opportunity for Gentiles.
God did not reject Israel permanently. He will once again establish the nation Israel in the Millennial kingdom. People in Paul’s day thought that God was finished with Israel. That same thinking is true in our day. God has a future for Israel. Temporary rejection of Israel means a massive blessing for those other than Jews because we have embraced the Messiah. Israel’s failure to accept the Messiah brought on the great opportunity for Gentiles to accept Him. Rejection of the Messiah did not stop God’s plan for the world. Israel’s stumble had a purpose.
Israel will return to the center of God’s plan (in the Millennium) after a period of severe trial (the Tribulation). In the Millennium, Israel will receive superabundant blessing—both material and spiritual.