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  • Writer's pictureKathy Berry

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Olive Tree Kinship: What is it and why do I care?

You will notice that One Again's theme is the cultivated olive tree from Romans 11. Paul's metaphor describes a natural, indigenous tree—one chosen. Yet in that choice, this Jewish tree receives a bit of painful pruning. It is a commonwealth tree that enjoys the nourishing faithfulness of its patriarchs and in that, God's love upholds. God is a promise keeper, you see. He will never forsake His people, but He will prune them.

Among these natural branches, some bent, broken even, space remains for faith-filed wild and uncultivated branches. They grow among those faithful from Israel and they come from the furthest nations. They, too, join with trusting faithfulness in the salvation afforded by Jesus (Yeshua), making Jew and Gentile one again. The nations join the "people of God" and partake of the commonwealth of Israel. Let us not forget this engrafted nature. The people of the nations join the natural, indigenous and culturally Jewish tree. Paul soberly reminds those grafted about their position. Otherwise, to what commonwealth do we adhere? So, remembering with tenderness that some branches were broken, we remain humble, grateful and a light that draws the broken into God's community. This is the value of olive tree kinship.

Consider Paul's metaphor: Read Romans 11

These blogs, also found on, will explore the kinship between the natural Jewish branches and the grafted wild ones from the nations. Topics will span intertestamental Jewish literature and its influence upon the apostolic writers, church history as it pertains to the "parting of the ways," and lively discussions on New Testament interpretations, historical and contemporary. I say "discussions" because I hope to attach a discussion link.


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