Rom 11:17-21 “And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.”
Grafting is an interesting process that has to be done with care to produce the desired result. Normally, grafting is done with branches that bear some similarity with the “original” tree. Grafting is never done with the idea of changing the root system. Any changes that result from grafting show up in the branch that is grafted and not in the original system.
From a natural standpoint, grafting is usually done because the branches of a tree are bearing sub-par fruit. The fruit is either small or the yield is low. However, the root may be strong and resistant to disease or weather extremes. By grafting a branch from a variety that produces a higher yield into a tree that has a superior root system, the result is an improved fruit.
The new branches do not get to select the root system they will be grated into. They have no say-so into when, where, or how they are grafted in. This is at the discretion of the master gardener. There is no reason that the master gardener cannot remove the new branches just as he did the originals.
Israel was God’s covenant people under the law service. They grew to rely more on the law than on the God who gave them that law. They rejoiced in their own supposed supremacy. As a result, their fruit was no longer desirable.
The same is true for us today if we begin to think that we are worthy of God’s mercy and love because of anything we have done. No matter how zealous we may appear, if we display our fruit in a way that honors man more than God, then that fruit is no longer grade A. Our Husbandman has not left His garden to grow at its own discretion today any more than He had when Paul wrote this epistle. We need to pay close attention to this lesson.
We have nothing to glory in except for Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 10:17). Being grafted in, we should bear the characteristics of that blessed Root from which all our strength comes (Isa. 11:10). If we truly stand by faith, we will never boast ourselves against another. To do so moves us from a stand by faith into the broken state of unbelief.
Our attention should be fixed on God and His righteousness. In His righteous judgement, He saw fit to break off some of the original branches. By that same righteous judgement, He saw fit to graft in some of us. We have no cause to be boastful, but rather to hold Him in reference and awe.
May we rejoice in the knowledge that being grafted into the holy root of Jesus Christ that we are changed and made holy in Him (Rom. 11:16)!