The Grafted BranchesDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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.
Paul makes it abundantly clear in Romans 11 that we Gentiles must not become prideful because of our relationship with God. We must never look down upon the Jewish people as if we are somehow better than they are. In fact, we are branches that have been grafted onto the tree of God’s family, a tree with a Jewish trunk. Yet we Gentiles are children of Abraham in that, like the father of the Jewish people, we have faith in God.
Throughout church history, many Christians have forgotten their unique identity as branches grafted into God’s tree. Anti-Semitism is one obvious and terrible result of such forgetfulness. And so is Christian neglect of the Old Testament, the first covenant between God and his people. When Christians understand our place as grafted branches, we will never cease to give love and respect to the Jewish people. Also, we will embrace their Scriptures—our Old Testament—as an essential portion of God’s inspired Word. The more we interpret the New Testament in light of its Old Testament roots, the better we will understand its full meaning.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How does the idea of your being a “grafted branch” affect your identity as a Christian? What might you do to grow in your knowledge of the Old Testament?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, as a Gentile Christian, I thank you for grafting me into your tree. How grateful I am to be able to enjoy the blessings of being in a covenant relationship with you, those blessings that you first granted to Israel.
Even as I embrace my identity in Christ, help me Lord never to be disconnected from my “trunk.” May I always show kindness to Jewish people. Preserve me from any hint of anti-Semitism. And help me, Lord, to grow in my understanding of the Old Testament. Though I’ve studied this portion of your Word for years, there is still so much that I have to learn. Amen.