It is the partial blindness of Israel during the church age to the fact that Jesus Christ is their Messiah and Saviour.
The mystery of the blindness of Israel is found in Rom. 11:25-29. This is the seventh in a series of studies on the seven mysteries in the Bible. People who do not properly understand this mystery believe that God is through with Israel and that the Church has replaced Israel in all of the Old Testament promises that God gave to Israel. They believe that God will not give Israel an inheritance in the millennial reign of Christ. Many of them do not believe that Jesus Christ will have a literal, physical, visible second coming to the earth. Rather, they believe that Jesus Christ is reigning from heaven today, spiritually, and that the Church will get whatever inheritance was promised to Israel. That’s why it is so important to properly understand this mystery.
According to Rom. 11:25, Paul said that any man who did not understand the partial blindness of Israel was ignorant and conceited. So, since we do not want to be ignorant and conceited, let’s figure out what this mystery is about.
When Jesus Christ came to the earth, the Jews were looking for a king who would bring in a kingdom (Luke 17: 20-21) during their lifetime (Acts 1: 6-7). When Jesus Christ made his “triumphal entry” into Jerusalem four days before his crucifixion, they thought their king was coming to take the throne (Matthew 21: 8-11, Mark 11:10, Luke 19:38). But soon they found out that he was not going to rule as their king at that time (John 18: 36-37) and so they rejected him (John 19:14-15) and demanded that he be crucified (Luke 23: 20-24).
At the time that the Jews demanded that Jesus Christ be crucified, they did not realize that they were going to crucify “the Lord of glory,” (1 Corinthians 2:7-8). They had no idea that God would raise him from the dead, exalt him to his right hand and make him “to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins,” (Acts 5: 30-31). They did not realize that they had “denied the Holy One and the Just…and killed the Prince of life,” (Acts 3:14-15). Though they could see him, they were “blind” to who he really was (Matthew 13:15). Their problem, plainly and simply, was unbelief, “for had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me,” (John 5: 46, Rom. 11:20, 23).
Following the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, Israel, as a whole, still rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah (Rom. 9: 2-4; 10-1-4). Many Jews, individually, received the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour (Acts 2:36, 41, 47; 4:4 5: 28; 6:7; etc.). However, there were, likewise, many Jews who were absolutely opposed to the Lord Jesus Christ and fought every attempt for the gospel to be spread (Acts 9: 1; 13:50; 14: 2; 14: 19; 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16; etc.).
Now, at the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, when “there shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob,” (Rom. 11:26), God is going to make a new covenant with Israel whereby “all Israel shall be saved,” (Rom. 11:26). That covenant is found in Hebrews 8: 8-13 and Jeremiah 31: 31-34. At that time, God will remove the blindness that is in Israel and they will accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour, Messiah and King (Revelation 11:15; 19: 16; Luke 1:30-33; Isaiah 9: 6-7; Psalm 24: 6-10; Zechariah 14: 9-11, 16; Jeremiah 30:10-11, etc.).
Right now “all Israel” is not saved. However, when the Lord returns, they will be. There are numerous references in the Old Testament to this truth. Here are just a few of them: Jeremiah 31: 31-34, 36; Jeremiah 23: 6; Isaiah 45:17; Ezekiel 11:19-20; Hosea 14: 4-9; Ezekiel 16: 60; 28:25-26; 34:22-31; Jeremiah 30:11; 46:27-28; 50: 20; etc.). Since the sun and the moon are still in the sky, you can be sure that God is not through with Israel (Jeremiah 31: 35-40).
So, what will God do with a Jew in the church age that rejects Jesus Christ as a Saviour? He will do with him what he did with the Jew in Luke 16: 19-31; he will send him to hell. The salvation of “Israel” does not pertain to “individuals” in the church age who reject the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. The salvation of Israel pertains to the remnant that remains when the Lord returns (Isaiah 10: 20-22; Jeremiah 31: 7) and to their offspring.
So, if you have not yet trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, you’re not saved. If you are not saved, he will save you, if you will put your faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 10: 9-10). Thank God that Jesus Christ will save anyone who will come to him by faith, Jew or Gentile (Rom. 1: 16). Will you trust him to save you?
Hope this helps,
Pastor Bevans Welder