This issue looks at what it means for Gentiles to be “grafted in.”
SINCE YOU ASKED
While at a conference last year in Jerusalem, I heard the account of a Jew named Arnie Kline who had a most interesting conversation with a horticulturist who was not a believer and knew nothing about Romans 11. The horticulturist described to Arnie the process by which wild olive branches are grafted into cultivated olive trees. The cultivated tree, he explained, is planted by design. Wild olives, the goal of the process, are the result of a “natural” process. For fruit, there must be cross-pollination. The lone wild olive trees don”t produce olives. They look like productive olive trees, even producing blossoms, but no olives. When a farmer wants to increase his production of olives, but has no space to plant more cultivated trees, & doesn”t want to wait for a cultivated tree to grow to maturity, he does the following:
He cuts off some good branches from a cultivated tree, and lays them on the ground at the base of the tree. He then takes branches from a wild olive tree and grafts them into the very place where the cultivated branches were removed. The tree doesn”t recognize the sap, since it”s from a different tree with different DNA. It has to force the sap from the roots into the wild branches. For 3 years this process continues with no visible results (fruit). Then the farmer drills holes along side the grafted-in wild branches, and inserts the cultivated ones. Remember, they have been lying on the ground for 3 years and are very dry. In the exact words of the horticulturist, when they are grafted back in, they become “jealous” of the wild branches, miraculously drawing the sap themselves. They actually start to come back to life after 3 years.
For another 3 years the tree still bears no fruit as both wild and cultivated branches feed together on the sap from the roots of the cultivated olive tree. In the seventh year they start bearing fruit.
AS I SEE IT
What a real life explanation of Romans 11! We Gentiles, as the wild olive branches, are never going to bear fruit for the kingdom until we”re grafted into the cultivated tree (Israel) and start drawing nourishment from the rich roots of our Jewish heritage. We will receive life from them, but not until the cultivated branches are reinserted. This is why we should pray for Israel, as the cultivated branches, to receive life from their very own root system. After 7 years, together, we will start bearing fruit.
Zechariah 12:10 tells us that when Christ returns, after 7 years of Tribulation for Israel, He will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and of supplication. In essence, He is opening their eyes so they can see that He, indeed, is the long-awaited Messiah. When their backs are against the wall and the Messiah is their only hope, He will appear, they will see His nail scarred hands and feet, realize that the one they crucified was their Savior, repent, and be saved. They will finally start drawing strength and nourishment from their own roots which they had abandoned.
Before the cultivated branches could be inserted, they had become very dry. This certainly describes Israel today-spiritually dry. But God isn”t finished with them. He will use them as He will use us to produce fruit for the kingdom that will bring Him glory. If ever there was proof that God has not abandoned Israel, this is it. God has always been in the business of bringing life from the dead. He has
done it for me and every other believer and He will do it for Israel.
Are you sure you”re a believer? Check out HOW TO KNOW YOU”RE HEAVEN BOUND.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Map Quest needs to start their directions at #5. I”m pretty sure I know how to get out