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Graft versus Host

Words of Faith Final

Graft versus Host
Words of Faith 10-29-2021
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2021
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Romans 11

      [23] And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. [24] After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

      We have a dear friend who went through a bone marrow transplant a few years ago. We praise God that he is doing well in his recovery. I learned some fascinating things during the year as a result of his procedure. Even after a successful grafting of bone marrow, I learned that there can be a very serious complication called "graft vs. host" disease. This is where the new bone marrow which comes from a donor actually attacks the patient. It is a condition that must be fought with heavy doses of medication because the course of this disease is devastating and deadly.
       Paul talks about some of the complications that can occur between the spiritual branches grafted into the olive tree of Israel and that host. Christians are often tempted to think that "branches" of Judaism that have rejected Christ cannot be returned to the olive tree. Paul suggests that just the opposite is true. Paul is clear that the "branches" of the olive tree that have rejected Jesus as Messiah can be grafted back in if they do not persist in unbelief. God is not only able to do this, but such grafting is a very natural thing. In a sense, this is a perfect match.  
       In fact, the difficult graft that can lead to complications is not a Jewish branch, it is far more likely to be the Gentile branch. Paul says that the Gentile church was cut out of an olive tree that is "wild by nature." The Gentile culture has a great deal more to learn about God than does the Jewish culture. Paul goes as far as to suggest that it was "contrary to nature" that Gentiles were grafted into the cultivated olive tree of Judaism. Still, God was able to do this miraculous thing!
       The Jewish person is perfectly equipped to understand who Jesus was, the promises He fulfilled, His blood atonement for sin, and the prophetic meaning of His coming. How much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree! When a Jewish person comes to Christ, it is the most perfect match!
       So why is it that there can be such antagonism between Jews and Christians? It is quite likely that the problem is not one of Judaism rejecting Jesus but the long history of Gentile Christians rejecting Jews. As Gentile Christians, we can easily forget that we are the ones "grafted in." The truth is that throughout history, Gentiles have often rejected their host and battled fiercely the olive tree of Israel-- a sort of spiritual "graft vs. host disease." The resulting problem is not so much that Jews have rejected Christ, but that they have been unable to see Christ through the painful attacks against the tree. We must battle this disease at all cost for its course is devastating and deadly.
       Paul calls us to pray for and rejoice in the hope that the natural branches called Israel, if they do not persist in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God can graft them into their own olive tree.

       Lord, I pray for Israel, the people of Jesus, the chosen one of God, to come to belief in Jesus as Messiah and know the peace He offers. In Jesus' Name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2021
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)        
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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