Grafted into the Promise

Romans 1116Lately I’ve been frustrated as I ran into wall after wall in my research. I know what I’m looking for; I just can’t seem to find it. Maybe I’m being too specific, or perhaps it’s a timing thing…either way, I found great encouragement tonight as I dug into some verses that are right in my wheelhouse of research, specifically Romans 9-11.

No, I’m not going to post three chapters of Romans on my post. That would be a bit excessive. But in short, these verses directly relate to the question regarding “God’s chosen,” Israel and the Jews.

You see, I’ve been struggling to find this balance of understanding regarding the history of the Israelites, the promises and covenants made to Abraham, and the promise that is in Christ Jesus. I’ve been trying to understand what it means to be chosen and what promises apply to me, a Gentile in all technical standards.

That’s where chapter 11 is so interesting (and revealing):

For if the roots of the tree are holy, the branches will be, too.

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. (Romans 11:16b-17, NLT)

Grafting is a process of quite literally taking part of one tree and attaching it to another. In citrus, the bud is typically used.

Farmers are looking for particular varieties of the fruit they are harvesting and while a seed will produce a similar tree, it will not necessarily be identical to the parent tree. In addition, there is a considerable amount of time before that tree will produce fruit. However, when the bud is grafted into an established root system, they become identical and will produce fruit in a fraction of the time.

Grafting is also used to repair existing trees or to completely change their variety.

Those who believe in Jesus have been grafted into the original promises given to Abraham. We have the benefit of an established root system and nourishment that allows us to produce fruit in a fraction of the time it would take had the system not already been in place.

I find myself incredibly humbled by this revelation. Who I am is a child of God, the same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I am a recipient of those awesome promises because I have been given the gift of being grafted into the roots of Israel.

The promises are not simply for the Jews (though Scripture is clear that they still have priority if they choose to believe). Romans 9:6-8 confirms that when God said He would be the God to Abraham and His seed, He did not mean simply His seed according to the flesh, or else Ishmael would have been included. Matthew Henry states quite plainly in his commentary, “Grace does not run in the blood.”

I’d like to add that “Grace does not run in the blood of Abraham, but it is only in the blood of Jesus.” Through Jesus we are saved and grafted into this promise. Through Jesus we find hope in the New Covenant that is in the completion and perfection of the law. Through Jesus, we find that life is not about who we are, but instead, whose we are.

4 Responses to “Grafted into the Promise

  • Charles Shinn
    3 years ago

    This is an awesome post. Though I’ve read the words in Romans so many times before, I have never made the correlation that Becca makes here. With a background in agriculture, I think of the many reasons for grafting of which Becca mentions several here. Many fruit trees if grown from seed have a long period of juvenility before they start producing. This period of juvenility produces lanky growth, many thorns and only a small amount of fruit (that is usually of poor quality). Compare that to a tree that has been grafted and you find a tree that matures quickly, has abundant high quality fruit and grows full and healthy.

    I see so many parallels with the ability that Jesus gave us to ‘graft’ our body and soul into His when we accept Him as our Savior. This is the only way that I can become a Child of God.

      3 years ago

      Thanks so much for the further explanation! Reading through the info on grafting (agriculturally speaking) was so interesting. The point that you highlighted was one of the things that took such a spiritual significance in my heart as well.

  • Like the new look!! And your quote here: “I am a recipient of those awesome promises because I have been given the gift of being grafted into the roots of Israel.” Beautiful!

      3 years ago

      Thanks! It was pretty gnarly there for a week or so. LOL I have someone working on a logo for me so that’ll be fun to add here in the near future.

      The deeper I get into these truths, the more excited I get! 🙂 Thanks for reading!