In today’s scripture, the apostle Paul likens the Gentile conversions to the agricultural grafting process. The natural branches are Israel. They were broken off and the wild branches, the Gentiles, were grafted in.
My friend overheard two top horticulturists having a conversation related to pruning and grafting of wild and natural branches from cultivated trees. They said that the process begins with cutting off the perfectly healthy fruit-bearing branches of the cultivated tree and laying them down on the ground at the base of the tree. Then new branches are taken from the wild tree and are grafted into the very places from where the cultivated branches were cut off.
Because the new branches are from a different sort of tree they do not have the right DNA to cause them to draw up the sap from the root. Consequently, the cultivated tree needs to literally force its sap into these wild branches. The cultivated tree just knows to pump sap out into the capillary structure to bring the sap into the wild branches, the flow will always go into a cut. For three years this process continues without any fruit.
In the fourth year, the farmer drills holes alongside the grafted in wild branches and inserts the original cultivated prunings that were cut off. The next thing is quite amazing. The in grafted wild branches cause the cultivated branches that have been disconnected from their tree for over three years to experience a ‘jealousy’ over the wild branches. It was the horticulturist himself that used the word ‘jealous’.
This jealousy causes the cultivated natural branches, which must appear very dead after three years, to begin to miraculously draw on the sap and come back to life. For another three years, the tree still bears no fruit, while both branches continue to feed together on the nourishing sap in the cultivated tree.
Then seven years after it all began, this traumatised tree, with twice the number of branches, yields for its harvest a double portion, which should be abundant and pure. Interestingly, if the natural cultivated branches are not grafted back in then the entire tree will die.
This fascinating account testifies to God’s plan that the Jews were destined to be the conduit through which God’s blessings would flow to all mankind, whilst the Gentile believers were destined to represent the character of Jesus and to make His firstborn, the Jews, jealous for His presence.
By the grace of God, we’re now witnessing the coming of the one new man, foretold in John 11:52 and Ephesians 2:14-16. ‘For He Himself is our peace who has made both one, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two thus making peace and that he might reconcile both to God through the cross’.
Prayer:Father, we are so thankful for Your unchanging purposes and Your unbreakable covenant with Abraham and his seed forever. Help us to understand the profound truth today of the one new man and that we are a part of it, through the cross. Amen.