CommentaryGentiles are all those who are not Israelite. The Gentile people were considered foreigners and were not part of God’s people.
Ephesians 2:12 At that time you were without Christ, alienated from the citizenship of Israel and oblivious to the covenants of promise, without hope and without God in the world.
Jesus nevertheless provided through his death the possibility of being part of the people of God, making us heirs with Israel of all the promises of which they were recipients.
Romans 11:17 For if some of the branches were cut off, and you, being a wild olive tree, have been grafted in their place, and become a partaker of the root and the rich sap of the olive tree.
Now, this grafting was made possible by the death of Jesus who made two peoples one. The book of the Ephesians clearly shows this to us
Ephesians 2:14 For he is our peace, who made one from both peoples, knocking down the middle wall of separation.
Now, in the literal sense we Gentiles are not Israel, the middle wall refers rather to promises and destiny. All the promises prescribed for Israel are now ours, yet the church never supplants, takes the place, or replaces Israel. Israel has not been rejected despite its disobedience.
Romans 11: 1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? In no way. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Or do you not know what the scripture says about Elijah, how he calls upon God against Israel, saying, “LORD, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”?
Now his transgression has been to salvation to the Gentiles.
Romans 11:11 I say then, Have the Israelite stumbled that they might fall? In no way; But by their transgression came salvation unto the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy.
The transgression of the Israelite, allows for the opportunity of another people. Now this does not indicate that without their transgression the Gentiles would not be saved, it merely indicates that many of the works that the Jews would do now are done by the Gentiles, such as carrying the gospel, and preaching to all nations. This was something the Jews would do, and through them the Gentiles would hear the gospel, but because of their transgression, the Gentiles now occupy that place to provoke them to jealousy. We are no longer strangers, but in Christ we are one:
Ephesians 2:19 So you are no longer strangers or strangers, but fellow citizens of the saints and members of the family of God.
Written by Robert Pool
Translated by Bruno Smith