Grafted in ...

For if the roots of the tree are holy, the branches will be, too. But some of these branches from Abraham’s tree—some of the people of Israel—have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree. -Romans 11:16-17 NLT

Trees are often use in the scriptures to represent spiritual ideas. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is central to the beginnings of humanity in the book of Genesis. In the last chapters of Revelation we read about the tree of life. In these verses Paul uses an olive tree to contrast the gentiles with the Israelis. He speaks of this tree with regard to the lineage of the patriarch Abraham and says that the tree has holy roots.

What do you think this tree represents? Is the tree one of ethnicity or is it one of faith. Is the apostle saying that gentile Christians become Jews when they are grafted in to this tree? Or is he saying that both Jews and gentiles are grafted in through faith. My thinking is that the tree is not ethic but spiritual in nature. I liken the tree to the vine that Jesus speaks about in John's gospel. Jesus is the root and trunk of the tree. We are branches that are attached by faith.

Help us today Lord to stay connected to the vine that is Christ that we might receive spiritual strength.

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