Romans 11:17-24 (Contemporary English Version)
17 You Gentiles are like branches of a wild olive tree that were made to be part of a cultivated olive tree. You have taken the place of some branches that were cut away from it. And because of this, you enjoy the blessings that come from being part of that cultivated tree. 18 But don’t think you are better than the branches that were cut away. Just remember that you are not supporting the roots of that tree. Its roots are supporting you.
19 Maybe you think those branches were cut away, so that you could be put in their place. 20 That’s true enough. But they were cut away because they did not have faith, and you are where you are because you do have faith. So don’t be proud, but be afraid. 21 If God cut away those natural branches, couldn’t he do the same to you?
22 Now you see both how kind and how hard God can be. He was hard on those who fell, but he was kind to you. And he will keep on being kind to you, if you keep on trusting in his kindness. Otherwise, you will be cut away too.
23 If those other branches will start having faith, they will be made a part of that tree again. God has the power to put them back. 24 After all, it wasn’t natural for branches to be cut from a wild olive tree and to be made part of a cultivated olive tree. So it is much more likely that God will join the natural branches back to the cultivated olive tree.
I have so very many thoughts when I read these verses that I don’t really know where to start so this may be a “stream of consciousness” type post; which effectively means really organized bunny trails! 🙂
A wild olive tree vs. A cultivated olive tree …
Wild trees grow wherever they can. Anywhere the soil is deep enough to contain the roots that will eventually form and stabilize the trunk of a full grown tree. A wild tree has to fight with other vegetation in order to grow strong enough to survive. And it doesn’t care where it grows as long as it can.
Cultivated trees are spoiled. From the beginning they have enough soil, optimal sunlight, pruning, water, etc. Everything is bountiful. All their needs are met.
Wow. Who wouldn’t want to be part of the cultivated tree?! Who wouldn’t want to be part of God’s family?! To have all of your needs met. To not have to fight or wonder or fret where necessities like food and water are coming from. Why would you even consider another way?!