The Olive Tree

A scientist/horticulturist who is neither a practising Jew nor a believing Christian spoke about the natural realities of this most spiritually significant of all trees, the Olive. This account is of the agricultural method of increasing yield, by someone not familiar with the Bible’s teachings in the Apostles Teachings to the Romans. 

This explanation is in answer to a frequent question posed, being: “How to make a cultivated olive tree more fruitful?” Romans chapter 11 speaks of two kinds of olive tree: one cultivated [the Jewish] and one wild [the Gentile]. The natural cultivated tree is planted by design by the farmer. The wild olive tree is the product of something akin to a bird dropping an olive somewhere-else, giving birth to a lone tree. In order for fruit to come forth, there needs to be cross-pollination. In other words, wild olive trees do not produce olives. They appear in every way as other olive trees, right through to bearing blossom. But they will never produce any fruit. However, the Master devised a plan to make use of the barren branches of the wild olive in order to increase the size of His cultivated harvest. In Judges 9:8-9, we learn the heart of the matter:  

“The trees once went forth to anoint a king over them. And they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us!’ But the olive tree said to them, ‘Should I cease giving my oil, with which they honour God and men, and go to sway over trees?'”  

It’s all about the oil. [Here the reference to the oil is alluding to the Holy Spirit, ministered by God’s people, His Son’s Body, to the world.]  

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. How strange that must appear to the tree. After all, it was bearing fruit. Next, branches are taken from the wild tree and are grafted into the very places from where the cultivated branches were cut off. Imagine what these branches must be thinking: “Some were cut off to make room for me. For sure, I must be of greater worth. Or else why would it have been done?” But, because these new branches are from a different sort of tree, they do not have the DNA to cause them to draw the sap up from this root. Consequently, the tree needs to literally force it’s sap into these wild branches. Given this fact, if the wild branches were not grafted into a place where there had been a branch, there would not have been the capillary structure to bring the sap into the wild branch. The tree just knows to pump sap out into the capillaries, whether the branch is wild or natural. The flow will always go to a cut.  

For three years, this stage of the process continues without alteration, and without any visible fruit. After this time, in the fourth year, the farmer drills holes alongside the grafted-in wild branches and inserts the original cultivated prunings [that were cut off to make room for the wild ones]. At this point an amazing thing takes place. The ingrafted wild branches cause the cultivated branches, that have been disconnected from their tree for over three years, to experience a “jealousy” of the wild branches. (It was the scientist himself that used this imagery of the natural branches being made jealous of the wild, without knowing of the reference in Romans 11!) This jealousy causes the cultivated natural branches [that must appear very dead after three years or more on the ground!!] to begin to miraculously draw on the sap and come back to life!  

For another three years, the tree still bears no fruit, whilst both branches continue to feed together on the nourishing sap of the cultivated olive tree. Then, seven years after it all began, this traumatized tree, with twice the number of branches, yields it’s harvest: a double portion, abundant and pure! 

Now, here is the critically relevant word [in the words of the scientist] to the Body of Christ today:  

If the natural cultivated branches are not grafted back in, then the entire tree will die.  

How incredible! If the natural [Jewish] branches are not grafted back into the tree [Our Lord’s Body], and made jealous by the presence of the wild [Gentile] earlier graftings drinking of the Living Water, the entire tree will die. Life and fruit will only come forth in the Body when both Jew and Gentile are one in Messiah: part of the one olive tree, [springing from our Hebrew Roots – the Patriachs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob & David (Isaiah 27:6; 37:31; Rev:5-5), through the Rod of Jesse, the shoot from the stump, Our Lord Jesus (Isaiah 11:1)] = One New Man, in Him. [Ephesians 2:15b] So comes the oil of the Holy Spirit from the unified Body of the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One.  


Adapted from Simon Judd (a Messianic Jew who found Jesus before discovering his Jewish roots)