Carly’s thoughts on the fig tree story deserves another look.
“And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God.” (29)
While this is a glorious promise of an international kingdom, I’m reminded of Paul’s explanation of how Gentiles are grafted in. It’s a long and complicated situation between the LORD and Israel.
“But as for Israel He says, ‘ALL THE DAY LONG I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HANDS TO A DISOBEDIENT AND OBSTINATE PEOPLE.'” (Romans 10:21)
This parable of the dinner that not everyone gets in to (Luke 11:22-30) weaves in to Romans 11, when Paul quotes Elijah’s lament that all of Israel has fallen away (Romans 11:3), and the LORD, says no, I still have 700 who haven’t bowed to Ba’al (Romans 11:4).
As Gentile citizens of this Kingdom, we must walk with much humility. We must always also root (har har, look at that pun) for the Jew’s to know their Messiah.
“For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either.” (Romans 11:15-21)
Everything bathed in humility, with the fear of the LORD leading us into wisdom. The grace and mercy we’ve received from embracing the Jewish Messiah should never lead us to pride. These passages should be sobering reminders to actively walk humbly, doing justly and loving mercy, for ourselves and certainly for others.