Wednesday, February 18, 2009

We Are Now Bloggers!

The *NEW* Mitchell family is proud to introduce our blog, Etz HaZayit - Hebrew for The Olive Tree. We chose this title because the olive tree represents the Kingdom of God as seen in Romans 11:11-24:

I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!

But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. 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.

Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree? NASB


In this passage, we see the Jews as the natural olive branches, and that being in the tree is part of their natural created order. We also see the way for Gentiles to come into this established order and join with God's plan. Since one of us is Jewish (Devin), and the other Gentile (Callie), unified in the Messiah, this passage is an explanation for the vision we share as believing husband and wife. We believe the fullness of God's Kingdom will be seen as Jews and Gentiles unite in the one olive tree. This revolutionary unity through Yeshua, allows the Gentiles to become fellow heirs in the promises to Israel. Never replacing Israel, but rather sharing in their inheritance. This is further explained in Ephesians 2:11-22:

Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. NIV

We hope you will be blessed and edified by our blog ministry. We plan to post Devin's weekly Shabbat Letters, Callie's "prophetic apologetic" writings, prayer requests, family photos and much more. Please stop by regularly and leave comments!

Love and Blessings,

Devin and Callie