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Good Morning.

You shall keep My statutes. You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your field with mixed seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you. (Leviticus 19:19)

The Jewish commentator, Nachmanides, wrote that these laws of “forbidden mixtures” are to be understood as God’s way of teaching us that Creation should be allowed to function according to the laws of nature without interference from man. Let’s put it this way: these laws are understood to prohibit the cloning of animals and the manufacture of GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Put simply, those things that God declared should be “apart” should remain apart. So what did mankind do? Exactly what He said not to do — and so we shall see how this turns out in the end. 

On other hand, it is considered lawful for man to “improve” upon what God has created. By that I mean, He supplied the trees and rocks that man has used as resources to build structures and even cities in order to improve our living situation. Another way man has learned to improve upon what God created is the grafting of different plants and trees. Through certain grafts, mankind has been able to increase the yield that certain plants and trees produce, resulting in more people being fed with heartier fruit. But considering that grafting is a kind of “mixing,” how do we reconcile this with the Biblical prohibition regarding the mixing of seed?

In Israel, the grafting of trees and plants stayed true to this principle which is why, in Romans 11, Paul talks about a wild OLIVE branch being grafted into a cultivated OLIVE tree. In other words, he didn’t speak of a branch from a pear tree being grafted into the olive tree because it couldn’t be a different species of tree and stay true to the instructions God had given Moses. Of course, the greater issue being addressed by Paul isn’t about trees and fruit at all — it’s about people and the mystery of Jew and Gentile reconciliation. In other words, there are important ramifications in Paul’s example and the point he was making. That point is that those who have been grafted into the already existing olive tree have become part of the family God calls Israel.

That’s right, as believers in Messiah, we have been adopted into and have become part of the “commonwealth of Israel” (Ephesians 2). We are no longer foreigners and strangers but are fellow citizens and members of God’s household. Consequently, that means we are not a different species of “seed” but are of the one and only Good Seed. In fact, anyone who is in the family of faith, whether Jew or non-Jew, is conceived of the same Good and Incorruptible Seed. It only makes sense, then, that whether the branch is natural or has been grafted in “contrary to nature,” it should produce the same fruit. That, in essence, is Paul’s message in Romans 11 and in Ephesians 2 and frankly it should be our message as well — we are all one in Messiah. So then, let us behave appropriately. Let us strive to be one people united by the common bond made possible through the One Good Seed, Messiah Yeshua (Galatians 3:16).

Blessings and Shalom,  




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