Do we appreciate to the full why the Jewish believers of the early church “were amazed because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on Gentiles”? Why they were amazed that “God had granted repentance” to Gentiles for eternal life?
Sacred history is to be seen through enlightened Jewish eyes, revealing that Israel was initially the sole beneficiary of God's revelation before Christ. For the most part the Gentiles were “allowed . . . to walk in their own ways.” Such was according to divine predestination and the prerogative that God has the freedom to be merciful on whom he desires to be merciful. At the coming of Christ--to the surprise of Jewish believers--Gentiles in numbers became subjects of God's electing love as well. Jesus died for “the world” in the sense that he died for Jew and Gentile.
And God's freedom in predestination continues to be manifested in the election of both Jew and Gentile, with Christ dying specifically for all those elected of God, as a wide survey of New Testament texts verify.