The Spiritual Tree
One of our friends (Sr. Mercy from Jerusalem) brought a potted olive plant from Jerusalem, as a gift. We were delighted to have it in our balcony. We knew it will grow to several meters high and may last for generations ahead, hence we decided to give to the local church, where it is planted and cared for. My wife was bit upset for parting the spiritual tree.
Thoughts came to my mind, about the story of this wonderful tree of life, the spiritual tree of the Bible.
There is a belief that the “tree of life” in the Garden of Eden which was an olive tree. The olive was one of the most valuable trees to the ancient Hebrews. It is first mentioned in Scripture when the dove returned to Noah\’s ark carrying an olive branch in its beak (Gen.8:11). Since that time, the olive branch has been a symbol of “peace” to the world, and we often hear the expression, “extending an olive branch” to another person as a desire for peace.
When Israel conquered Canaan, the olive tree was a prominent feature among the flora of the land. It was described as a “land of olive oil” (Deut.8:8). The olive was a very important source of revenue to the early Israelites. It was tithed upon along with all the produce of the land (Deut.12:17).
The olive tree\’s association with royalty and rulership is also shown by its usage in providing “oil” to anoint those favored by God. Kings were “anointed ones.” That means, in Hebrew, that they were messiahs, for the term “Messiah” literally means “anointed one.” Isaiah the prophet even calls the Gentile King Cyrus “God\’s anointed one” (Isa.45:1).
The book of James, we read that when a person is sick, they should call upon the elders of the church for prayer and anointing with olive oil. (James 5:14-16).
Olive Oil:Spiritual Medicine
Olive oil was also used as a medicine to anoint wounds. It was used both internally and externally. Its soothing and protective qualities made it a valuable remedy for gastric disorders, and its qualities as a mild laxative was widely recognized in ancient times. Externally, it was used for bruises and wounds. Jesus sent out His disciples to heal the sick and to preach the gospel. “So they went out and preached that people should repent. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil (olive) many who were sick, and healed them” (Mark 6:13).
In another case, a good Samaritan found along a road a man beaten and injured by robbers. He had compassion on him, and “bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him” (Luke 10:34).
What a wonderful Treeâ€¦
Olive Trees in garden of Gethsemane.