Saving Israel

Romans 11 is one of the most poignant chapters in all Scripture.  In it Paul pines for his people.  He cannot imagine God’s family being whole without Israel.  Jesus wept for His people.  On the cross Jesus begs God to forgive them.  God cannot let them go and He arranged for the leadership to hear the logic of the cross from Peter and John.  In Acts 4 Peter and John are arrested and hauled in before the Sanhedrin.  God keeps trying.  Paul, himself yanked from tradition, wrote, ‘“And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.’ As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.”
It seems inconceivable to us that they can be saved.  To them it is inconceivable that we gentiles can be saved.  It is human nature.  It is our selfishness that makes us jealous and wanting to be so very special in God’s eyes that only we can be saved.  So Paul wrote to us, “Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you.”
How do we explain this extravagant mercy?  We can’t.  Paul knew this would confuse us and perhaps even make us a bit resentful so he wrote, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!”
How do we justify this in light of our insistence that others become like us in order to be saved?  We can’t.  But God can!!