“And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree” Romans 11:17
In the passage above, Paul is speaking to the people of Rome Italy, through his letter to the Romans. He was sharing that Israel, and Christianity are represented by the Olive Tree. The passage shares that those who refuse to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior are literally lost. They are “broken off” no longer part of the Olive Tree. But he continues saying that those who chose to believe are grafted into the Olive Tree. Remember that all the original followers of Christ (Apostles) were Jews, Jesus was a Jew, and they originally brought “The Way” or Christianity to the Jews. Therefore, making the Jews the Olive Tree and the rest of us grafted in branches.
Many today say, Christians have become the Olive Tree. They are the chosen ones of God, because of their faithfulness. Well, according to scripture, we are just grafted in branches. So how can branches exist without the tree? They can’t! God has never forgotten or given up on his original chosen people, because he is a faithful God that never abandons anyone. Those that reject Him are responsible for their own fate. They choose to not be grafted in.
The Olive Tree (Olea europaea)
This Olive Tree that symbolizes the Jews and the grafted in Christians is not just a symbol, but an amazing tree. The trunk becomes gnarled and twisted as it grows. The bark is thick and gnarled, the lumber from an Olive Tree trunk is some of the prettiest wood in the world. It is also resistant to fire. Even if the tree looks burned completely to death, the extensive root system and resilience of this tree allows it to spring back to life. It can live in arid environments that would kill most trees, but yet it thrives. As this tree grows the center often becomes hollow to conserve energy and water in the arid environments it thrives in.
The leaves of the Olive Tree are botanically pinnate (oblong leaves with one central vein) like that of a willow tree. The leaves are thick, waxy, and evergreen. The Olive Tree does not drop its leaves like a deciduous Sugar Maple tree. It is green all year long. It is a flowering plant that produces fruit – the olive. The olive is an oily fruit that produces oil when pressed or crushed. The oil is clean burning for lamps and delicious when used in cooking.
Olive Oil also has Numerous Health Benefits.
It’s a great source of Monounsaturated Fats that provide circulatory and heart healthy benefits.
A wonderful source of Antioxidants.
It nourishes the brain decreasing occurrences of Stroke and Alzheimer's disease.
An outstanding anti-cancer food.
Helps with arthritis symptoms.
And finally, when used topically or internally it has an anti-bacterial effect (pushes the pause button on bacterial proliferation).
God used this precious and wonderful tree to symbolize Israel, the Jews and the grafted in Christians. He used it as a symbol of Gods provision and promise when Noah sent out the dove from the ark and it brought back an olive leaf. Genesis 8:11 says, “And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.”
God is good in so many ways. He is the only wise God, the almighty, all knowing, present everywhere always God. Jesus, Father, Holy Spirit – the only true God and self-existent God, and the greatest God – without question. I praise Him for His mercy, His grace and the amazing things he has provided us. The Olive Tree is just one of those amazing provisions.