Many of the Jews, Paul said, were blinded, and did not accept Messiah. Yet there was hope!
Romans 11:11-12 (KJV)
I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?
Paul again asked a leading question in verse 11. Have the Jews stumbled, so that they have fallen away permanently? Paul answered negatively, "God forbid!" Instead, because of the Jews' stumbling, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Then as Gentiles come to faith in Messiah, the Jews will be provoked to jealousy.
Gentiles in great numbers have come to faith and salvation because the Jews stumbled over Messiah Yeshua. This is a profound blessing that has been extended to them. Yet, how has the Christian church often treated the Jews? What crimes against the Jews have been committed in the name of Christianity? Why does antisemitism reign in many so called "Christian" lands? Obviously, Christians have acted like God has thrown away the Jews and has made the Church the new chosen people. This is not to say that all Gentile Christians behave in this manner, but the number of incidents has caused a distrust of Christians on the part of many Jews. This has not caused the Jews to be jealous of Christianity.
In a way, provoking the Jews to jealousy is a command for Gentile Christians. This seems to be God's way of bringing the Jews to faith, but up to now the Gentiles have failed to a large degree. How can this be accomplished? If Christians were to act with love and to follow the high moral standards of God's Word, many Jews would perhaps think twice and embrace Messiah Yeshua. However, from the Jews' perspective, Christianity is a separate religion from Judaism. Christians worship three gods, violate the Torah by eating non-foods, and celebrate pagan holidays, while ignoring God-given feasts. They worship a false prophet called Jesus who has instructed them to turn away from God. With all of these elements in play, the Jews are unlikely to come to faith in great numbers. Obviously, there is some misunderstanding on the part of the Jews, however, it is true that Christianity doesn't look much like what is described in the Torah, nor does it resemble the first century church. This needs to change. The only way that Gentiles can provoke the Jews to jealousy is to live out faith and salvation by following God's Torah in total, putting aside Gentile tradition, and embracing a life that outshines the Jews' observance. Once they see Gentiles living according to God's Word, they will be jealous.
Paul then stated that if the fall or stumbling and the diminishing of the Jews resulted in riches for the rest of the world, how much more will be accomplished by the Jews coming back on track in faith in Messiah (verse 12)?