There is one tree: why are we so arrogant towards anyone who isn’t like us?

Paul is speaking to the Gentile people who have been grafted into relationship with God by His grace. He has shown how the Jewish people’s hearts were hardened and the position they could have occupied the Gentiles now hold. But he sees a problem: their arrogance.

“If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble.For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.” (Romans 11 v 17-21)

They have no reason to be arrogant. They did nothing to be counted as God’s people. It is still the case. There is one tree. The roots are Jewish, our Bible has Jewish roots and we worship Jesus who was Jewish. Now God cut out some of the Jewish non-believing branches and Paul says don’t be arrogant because God will do the same to you if you do not continue in the faith!

Not only is there no room for arrogance there is nothing to substantiate it either.

But it is all around us and within us. It is in our opinions about other churches who don’t do it the way we do it; or in the ministers that fail; or the members that are not as committed; it is in our anti-Semitist comments and our anti-other ones too. We are right and everyone else is wrong. Paul tells us to tremble before God rather than be his agent of arrogant judgment.

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