Did God's people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! His purpose was to make his salvation available to the Gentiles, and then the Jews would be jealous and want it for themselves.
Now if the Gentiles were enriched because the Jews turned down God's offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when the Jews finally accept it.
I am saying all of this especially for you Gentiles. God has appointed me as the apostle to the Gentiles. I lay great stress on this,
for I want to find a way to make the Jews want what you Gentiles have, and in that way I might save some of them.
For since the Jews' rejection meant that God offered salvation to the rest of the world, how much more wonderful their acceptance will be. It will be life for those who were dead!
And since Abraham and the other patriarchs were holy, their children will also be holy. a For if the roots of the tree are holy, the branches will be, too.
But some of these branches from Abraham's tree, some of the Jews, have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, were grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in God's rich nourishment of his special olive tree.
But you must be careful not to brag about being grafted in to replace the branches that were broken off. Remember, you are just a branch, not the root.
"Well," you may say, "those branches were broken off to make room for me."
Yes, but remember -- those branches, the Jews, were broken off because they didn't believe God, and you are there because you do believe. Don't think highly of yourself, but fear what could happen.
For if God did not spare the branches he put there in the first place, he won't spare you either.
Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe to those who disobeyed, but kind to you as you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off.
And if the Jews turn from their unbelief, God will graft them back into the tree again. He has the power to do it.
For if God was willing to take you who were, by nature, branches from a wild olive tree and graft you into his own good tree -- a very unusual thing to do -- he will be far more eager to graft the Jews back into the tree where they belong.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)