The grandeur of the oak tree.
The whispering of the pine tree.
The gracefulness of the weeping willow tree.
The glorious reds and yellows of the maple tree.
Yes, trees are one of nature’s most majestic and beautiful creations.
What about the olive tree? Have you ever wondered about its claim to fame?
Gnarled and twisted, the tree is a survivor…it grows in almost any condition and is virtually indestructible with some trees growing from root systems more than 2,000 years old. The olive tree will grow ever green in extreme heat or cold, drought or monsoon, rocky or sandy conditions. Regardless of its circumstances, the tree will thrive and produce fruit. Many times wild and cultivated olive trees are grafted together to take advantage of each other’s strengths….creating an even stronger tree.
Remarkable in its origins, the olive tree is one of those beautiful creations and symbolic in both Jewish and Christian history. It grows wild in the lands associated with biblical history. It’s fruit and oil is a dietary staple throughout the region and beyond. Noah’s dove returned with a leaf from the indestructible olive tree to confirm the flood waters were receding. Solomon sent the King of Tyre 100,000 gallons (378,533 liters) of olive oil as a gift. The Mount of Olives is where Jesus spent a lot of time during his ministry. Olive branches have been widely used since the time of Julius Cesar to symbolize peace.
We can learn a valuable life lesson from the olive tree; we should remain as steadfast as the olive tree and thrive no matter what circumstances we endure in life.
But there is another lesson to learn. The olive tree is symbolic of God’s people. The olive tree represents the covenant between God and his children. A covenant that is indestructible and can survive through any circumstance. The root system of this covenant is God’s Word….strong and life-giving. The natural branches symbolize Israel and the Jewish faith. The grafted branches are Gentile Christians that have been added to the trunk to enjoy being part of the established tree. The two types of branches don’t symbolize two different trees….the plant is one tree that feeds from the same root system. It’s through God’s covenant with Israel that we as Christians enjoy the promises of grace, forgiveness and salvation through Jesus. Christians need to understand their Hebrew roots and realize the Old Testament is the foundation for everything we hold dear.