Romans 11:24 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 11:24, NIV: 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!

Romans 11:24, ESV: For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.

Romans 11:24, KJV: For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

Romans 11:24, NASB: For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?

Romans 11:24, NLT: You, by nature, were a branch cut from a wild olive tree. So if God was willing to do something contrary to nature by grafting you into his cultivated tree, he will be far more eager to graft the original branches back into the tree where they belong.

Romans 11:24, CSB: For if you were cut off from your native wild olive tree and against nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these--the natural branches--be grafted into their own olive tree?

What does Romans 11:24 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the previous verse, Paul wrote that the branches pruned from God's metaphorical olive tree can be grafted back into it. In other words, God has rejected Israel only for now. His temporary rejection is due to her refusal to believe in Christ as the way to be righteous before God. However, He will receive her back when and if her people stop refusing to have faith in Christ.

Paul seems to be eager for Gentile Christians to reach two goals. First, to understand that this re-grafting is possible. Second, to look forward to it themselves. After all, God could cut them from the wild olive tree—the unspiritual religions of the world—and graft them into His own cultivated tree through faith in Christ. Therefore, God can graft back into His tree the branches that grew there in the first place.

Grafting wild olive tree branches into cultivated trees is not the natural way to raise olive trees. Symbolically speaking, it was not "natural" for God to do this in order to offer salvation to the Gentiles, though it is exactly what He has done. Paul's point is to highlight the way a Gentile Christian ought to look at the potential salvation of the Jewish people. What could be more natural than for God to welcome the Jewish people back into His family, as they begin to trust in Christ for their salvation?