This morning I’m thinking of wild olive trees, what it means to be grafted in, and Israel.
This is a picture of us taken on the Mount of Olives. If you look closely behind us, you’ll see an Olive Tree. For me, probably the most symbolic thing I can find to represent my faith.
Once a Wild Olive Tree (Gentile), who has now been grafted in to a Cultivated Olive Tree (Israel), to share in the Nourishing Root (Christ) and be shaped and formed by the Cultivator (Father God).
This chapter is why I named my blog “Wild Olive”. Because of a program we completed called Residency at our church, I began to understand Romans 11. I began to understand the difference between the church and Israel. I began to understand that we are a part of a much bigger story, a much bigger God, with a much bigger plan than we can ever imagine!
God choose to graft us into His kingdom to make His chosen people, Israel, jealous.
Friends the only reason we get to eat the crumbs from the Master’s table is because Israel rejects them.
After walking the land of Israel, I love and understand this chapter even more!
Our only response to salvation should be gratitude! We are not worthy, we did not come to faith in Christ because we born in America, grew up in church, or went to camp and “believed”. We came to faith in Christ because God gave us the gift of grafting us in!
Our faith in Christ, His plan of redemption for us the gentiles, is for so.much.more. It is beyond coming to church and participating in bible study, to hear good music, to feel good about ourselves . . . it’s to work out God’s cosmic plan for His people!
God is not done with Israel. There has come a partial hardening because of their rejection of the Cornerstone, but he is not done with them yet . . . not “until the fullness of the Gentiles comes” (Romans 11:25). He will not rest until all who are going to repent will be saved! Until then we as the “Gentiles” get to receive the greatest blessing of all. We get to be grafted into the Kingdom, invited to dine at the Master’s Table, and live a life of worship in response to this gift of knowing the One True God!
Perhaps reading through Romans 11 will help you see it too! Grateful to be grafted in . . . asking the LORD to help me remember, and not forget (Deut 8), all that He has taught me and now shown me of what it means to be a Wild Olive Tree.
Romans 11:1-10 God & His People Israel
5 “So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.”
Romans 11:11-24 Gentiles are Grafted In
17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.
Romans 11:25-32 A Partial Hardening & Mystery of Israel’s Salvation
25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
Romans 11:33-36 Our Response to His Plan: Worship!
33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
(*This was talken at Qum'ran, on top of a mountain that looks out into the Judean Wilderness-similar place to where Jesus was tempted. We were to write a "Rock of Rememberance" a prayer, a life verse, etc. This was what I wrote on my rock. A prayer of thanksgiving for being grafted in.)