The Olive Tree
A Plain Language Thought from the Window
The Harmony Area's main focus is a unifying theme that is both supported by Scripture and is often something that is misunderstood.
For a Jewish person to understand that Israel is presently failing its God given mission is a matter of referring to the Scriptures. The book of Isaiah says God will bring a Messiah out of Israel who will be a light (a witness) to the world, to all nations. But is Israel a light today—that is, an example leading all men to God? The Isaiah reference (see below) is something that might get some passing recognition, but today for many Jewish persons that's it, no more than that!
Isa 42:6 “I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, And will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the Gentiles,
Isa 49:6 Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
["You" is reference to Messiah; read adjacent verses in the text for context]
The norm today is to seek elsewhere, for many a Jew it means looking outside of Judaism. Why do they seek other spiritual truth? Are you surprised? That is the current state of spirituality for many, and in fact for both Jew and Gentile, to be seeking all over for some kind of truth. In reality, Jewish people are part of an olive tree, as described below.
Go to a religious service where Gentiles read the Bible and ask: Do they read this in the proper context? Does the reader understand the historical context and to whom the Scripture speaks? In some cases, the biblical text speaks to Jews and in other places it speaks to Gentiles. Both Jew and Gentile are part of the olive tree, again, as described below.
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Context is Important
What is amazing to folks is that when we stop to read the biblical text in context, something amazing comes to life. A more full understanding of a larger picture is clearly evident.
In the newer text, the Jewish Brit Chadeshah, a.k.a. New Covenant, Gentiles can tend toward reading the text as if it's all being spoken just to them. Is this the light? Or, has Israel slipped in its task of being light? Does the Greek text speak in some cases to the Jew, in other cases to the Gentile, and in other places to both together? Yes. It does just that. And to see this makes a clear difference in how we can really understand what is happening in the various portions of the text.
The Olive Tree
In one vital place, a mystery is described as an olive tree. Israel is the root of the tree and this is to say faith in God is the body of the entire tree. Native branches are Jewish. Others grafted in are Gentile. Native branches also require grafting. Let's see how this works!
A Jewish voice is speaking below, Saul of Tarsus speaks:
Scripture Pictures an Olive Tree: Romans 11: 13-24
"13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,
14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them.
15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree,
18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?"
Being grafted into this tree should be and is a source of joy and assurance for all who are part of this tree.
Notice that in light of the fact Israel, the Jewish people, were meant to lead Gentiles to God, it is now recognized that Gentiles can provoke Jewish persons to being jealous. Why? For a Gentile to have faith in Messiah, is to have faith in something Jewish! That a Jew does not have what is Jewish, is ironic, is what causes jealousy.
It is therefore not a conversion for a Jew to accept Yeshua as Messiah. This is accepting something that has always been Jewish! But too, something that is meant to be for all Gentiles to have equally.
Both Jew and Gentile, in faith, both are part of this olive tree.
This is harmony!
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Read the Bible: MKJV of Hebrew (Tanach) and Greek (Brit Chadeshah); plus other translations added as available.
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