|Olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane|
I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the part of the dough offered as first fruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. ~ Rom. 11:13-20
In this post I will focus on the root into which we Gentiles have been grafted. In Paul’s writing to the Jews and Gentiles in Rome he clearly admonishes the Gentile believers against a superior attitude toward Jews. I find such an attitude is some sectors of the Gentile church. Some tend to see the Jews as obstacles to peace or a problem in the world. Few see them as the completion of ‘one new man’ in Christ. Some look at Jews only from a natural perspective instead of a supernatural perspective.
In Romans 11:16 above the Word states that the first fruits of the olive tree were holy. The first fruits in this context are Abraham and the faithful heritage, those who believed God by FAITH! Some of them are listed in Hebrews 11, the hall of faith. These first fruits were holy because they had faith in what God the Father spoke and promised to them. They are the faith heritage of both Jew and Gentile. Every branch in the olive tree is therefore holy. Why? Because of faith! Gentiles are part of the olive tree, sustained by the root system which is Jesus, the Root of Jesse. There is no room for superiority within the gentile church because of numbers and visibility across the earth. However, many mainstream churches in America support those who advocate the annihilation of Israel. The Gentile arm of ‘one new man’ must not oppose the very nation that is called to be the other part of the body. We have the same root system which sustains us by faith.
The scripture describes Gentiles as a ‘wild olive shoot’. A shoot is a plant that springs up as though it is disconnected from the olive tree. It is not part of the main tree. It springs up as a surprise, unexpected, emerging separately. The Gentile church was not the first fruit of the olive tree. It popped up as nations began to accept Christ in large number. It was grafted in to the main tree and root system, a Jewish root, the Root of Jesse. It is time Gentile believers see themselves as part of the same faith tree as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Israel shall emerge to be fully part of that tree, the one new man…in Yeshua Messiah!
To read previous posts in Harvey’s One New Man series, click here.