Unlimited: The Natural Branches
Jun 6, 2023 251
After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree! (Romans 11:24).
God has revealed truth to humanity from the beginning, and from Moses to Abraham, he has done it through the Jewish people. The Jewish people are the natural branches. God had been cultivating them for over a thousand years. They were a “cultivated olive tree.”
The Gentiles, who had been without the direct revelation of God before the coming of Christ are the branches from an olive tree that is “wild by nature.” The wild olive tree bore no fruit. There was even a proverb: “more unfruitful than a wild olive.” The Gentiles were grafted “contrary to nature” into a cultivated olive tree, in the sense that no farmer would ever graft an unfruitful wild olive branch into a cultivated olive tree. But God did it with the Gentiles.
No farmer would ever graft an unfruitful wild olive branch into a cultivated olive tree. But God did.
Paul is telling the Gentiles to remain humble. If God had grafted them into his covenant promises, how much more easily could God graft the Jews back in!
We may think that because our church group, or we ourselves personally, have been carefully cultivated by God we are closer to salvation than other people “in the world” who are “wild by nature.” However, we should be very humble indeed with regard to our salvation, knowing that if God could save us, how much more readily could he save others!
As you review your life, do you identify more with “a cultivated olive tree” or “an olive tree that is wild by nature”? How do you choose to respond to the God who cultivates and grafts for the good of his trees?