- Religion and Philosophy
The Wild Olives
The olive tree plays a very significant illustration in the bible that relates to the salvation of the Gentiles. Over the years, the olive has been the symbol of peace, wisdom, glory, fertility, power and pureness.
The Apostle Paul clearly said that God did not reject his people nor they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery. Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious, as it says in Romans 11:11.
The illustration how the wild olive tree came into view describes how the gentiles were grafted into the wild olive trees.
Accordingly, many of these wild olive trees spring from the old roots; others are from the fallen drupes. Isolated trees scattered over many parts of the land, especially in Galilee, are sown by the birds. As a rule the wild olive is but a shrub, with small leaves, a stem more or less prickly, and a small, hard drupe with but little or no oil. That a wild olive branch should be grafted into a fruitful tree would be a proceeding useless and contrary to Nature.
If we take to consider and meditate on the biblical application of how the Apostle Paul describes the grafting of the wild olive trees into a fruitful tree-- we can see how the gentiles been adopted as children of God through the blood of Jesus Christ. The grafting of the wild olive tree and natural olive tree is the instructive symbol of our union to Jesus Christ as it says in Matt: 12:33, “… make a tree good and its fruit good…”
When a graft is united with the stock on which it is to grow, we know that it must be kept fixed; it must remain in the place where the rootstock or stock has been cut. Andrew Murray in his book on Prayer used this explanation to try to understand the grafting of the Christians into the family of God. He said:”There is no graft without wounding--- the laying bare and opening up of the inner life of the tree to receive the stranger branch. It is only through such wounding that access can be obtained to the fellowship of the sap and the growth and the life of the stronger stem. Even so with Jesus and the sinner.”
“Abide in the wounds of Jesus; there is the place of union, and life, and growth. There we will see how His heart opened to receive us; how His flesh was rent that the way might be opened for our being made one with Him and having access to all the blessings flowing from His divine nature.” (Andrew Murray on Prayer)
Apostle Paul says also in Romans 11:13-27:
"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 firstfruits 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. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 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!
All Israel Will Be Saved. I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written:
“The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
Wild olives cannot be made cultivated olives by engrafting, as Paul implies (Romans:11:24), but a wild olive branch thus grafted would thrive. So Gentiles would flourish spiritually when grafted into the fullness of God's mercy, first revealed to the world through Israel.
AS grafted into the wounds of Christ Jesus, we also share his sufferings and sacrifices. Christians who are really walking and living in the Word of God always experienced this kind of persecution because Satan wanted to discouraged them and take their crown of salvation.
But then Jesus, our rootstock which supports our whole being is stronger than all the trials and hardships that the enemy might bring. Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
We should treasure our salvation and really abide in the rootstock of our Faith which is Christ Jesus because if God did not spare His own people and were cut off from their natural branch, how much more for a Gentile?
The Holy Bible says:” Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.” Let us take this privilege. The ever-loving invitation of God to be grafted in into Jesus Christ. Gentiles do not wait for the whole number to be completed. In might be too late for you. Salvation is FREE. It only takes repentance and accepting Jesus as your LORD AND SAVIOR. Letting Him come into your heart and He WILL, but only if you are willing because God is a gentleman. He will not enforce Himself.
Romans 11:28-32 says, “As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.”
Bible gate online bible (http://www.biblegateway.com/)
Andrew Murray on Prayer
University of Missouri Extension (http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G6971)
Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive)