The Greeks and Romans have been olive horticulturists since the beginning of time and have used grafting to improve their olive stocks for most of those years. Wild olive tree branches are cut, slits are made in the freshly sawed branch ends and several branches from a cultivated olive tree are inserted. These exposed ends are covered with clay and straw and bound with thongs. As this graft heals, the olives are improved and the yield increases.
William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army, said, “To get a man soundly saved, it is not enough to put on him a pair of new breeches, to give him regular work or even to give him a university education. These things are all outside a man, and if the inside remains unchanged you have wasted your labor. You must, in some way or other, graft upon the man’s nature a new nature, which has in it the element of the divine.”
So the mandate is to “graft in” a new nature. Romans 11:23-24 says, “And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 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!” In other words, if you believe in God, He will be grafted into you over and over again. If grafting works for wild and cultivated olive trees, think how much more likely God will choose to improve you through grafting into you!
According to dictionary definitions, “to graft is to transplant or implant into a body part to replace a damaged part or to compensate for a defect.” What a great gift of God, to transplant His will and nature into our lives to replace our damaged lives and fill in all of our defects.
Grafting in agriculture always involves the implanting of living tissue, and the grafting of Jesus Christ into our lives is living as well, producing a different product. Our nature becomes combined or replaced with His nature.
The best news? When the grafts are fully healed on olive trees, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between the original tree and the grafted branches. What a thrill to think that if we choose to be fully grafted with Christ, it will be nearly impossible to have a nature different from His. Olive (Ah-love) you and so does God!