Daily Devotions


Day 236

"A partaker of the root..."

Text: Romans 11:17


Paul carried his role as teacher and apostle to the Gentiles with a great sense of seriousness. He sensed that there were some Gentiles who did not have a correct or healthy attitude towards Jews. He knew that, in general, many Gentiles had problems with the Jews in the social arena. There was hardly any significant relationship between these two ethnic groups. The danger of Gentile Christians being affected by anti-Semitic feelings must be addressed and that forthrightly!


Yes, Gentiles were to be admitted into the kingdom of God! Yes, they were on an equal footing with Jews! However, Paul wanted the Gentiles to remember their spiritual roots! A proper understanding of spiritual roots would forestall any deterioration of the Jewish-Gentile social tension.

“And if some of the branches were broken off,
and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them,
and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness
of the olive tree.”

Romans 11:17

1. Some of the branches were broken off

This would be a reference to the Jews who had rejected Christ. These are the ones who reject the gospel of Christ as well! They are well described as “branches broken off.”

2. A wild olive tree

Paul described Gentiles as “a wild olive tree”. This blunt imagery was purposely chosen. It communicated a powerful and humbling truth.

3. Grafted in

Gentile believers must ever remember this vital fact! They are like a wild olive tree grafted into the original olive tree (Israel).

4. Partaker

Gentiles must never forget that they partake of the following things:-

a) The root system

Herein lies its strength. Roots provide grounding! Roots provide vital nutrients to the whole tree!

b) The fatness of the olive tree

A grafted wild olive tree cannot survive on its own without partaking of the “fatness of the olive tree”. Gentiles are deeply indebted to Israel for many things. Without Israel’s history, rich spiritual legacy etc, the Gentile believers would not have been able to develop a rich Christian heritage.