And if some of the branches be broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them…
I. IT IS PROBABLE THE JEWS SHALL BE CALLED (2 Samuel 7:24).
1. A tree is not dead because it buds not in winter. This is the Jews' winter, there is yet hope of a summer wherein they may yield fruit. The Jew is oft compared to a fig-tree, which buds first, but whose fruit ripens last. The Jews budded before us, the time of their ripe fruit is at hand.
2. Speak honourably of a Jew, for whatsoever he is in regard of his unbelief, yet Paul calls it a natural branch.
3. The Church is called the Jews' own olive, into whom we are grafted; but when they shall be called they shall not be grafted into us, but into their own flock.
II. THE GENTILE HATH NOT SO GREAT (THOUGH SO SURE) A PREROGATIVE AND RIGHT TO THE PROMISE AS THE JEW (Acts 3:25; Romans 1:16; Romans 2:10).
1. Our natural condition is miserable. We should have been idolaters or savages if God had not given us His special grace. It is contrary to our nature to be in the right olive, to be worshippers of God, to please Him. We delight in good as a fish to be out of the water, we are out of our element.
2. By creation goodness was natural to us, as now evil, and goodness supernatural. We delight to possess the inheritance of our progenitors in us; let us then strive to recover that grace which our first parents spent in the subtilty of the devil.
3. Our conversion is contrary to our present nature. God will invert the nature and course of things for the salvation of His elect.
4. The state of nature and grace is easily discerned. He that despiseth the gospel and liveth wickedly is natural, but to believe and repent is gracious.
5. Contrary to nature, keep diligent watch over thine heart or else Nature will soon run after her Old course. Bend the bough of a tree downward, when thou lettest it go it will strive upward by and by. Waterfowls hatched under a land fowl will quickly to the water by nature. So, though by the warmth of the Spirit we be hatched under the Word, and become God's chickens, as Christ compared us, yet we will be drawing to corruption if we daily mortify it not. By nature boats go down the stream, but by the force of wind and oars they be got up, and if such means cease they go faster downward than they were forced upward; so to proceed in grace is against the stream of nature. If God's Spirit like a good wind blow not a prosperous gale upon us and we labour at the means, we are easily carried down the stream of our corruption.
(Elnathan Parr, B.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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;