"Rooted in the Faith"
We are called to be rooted and grounded in our faith through a strong personal relationship with God through Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah.
Yeshua likened the word of God to a seed (Matthew 13), our faith to a tree, and our good deeds to the fruit (Matthew 7). One of the most important parts of a plant is its roots. The root can be seen as the character or integrity that backs up our faith.
If our faith is not rooted in character and integrity, then we are likely to fall when difficult times come. The root, of course, is the part that is under the ground, not seen. Integrity and character are proven in situations where no one sees you, and there is no publicity.
Don't Be a Baobab
The parable of the root is applicable not only to our individual faith, but also to ministry organizations and operations. Many ministries look good on the outside but lack character and integrity on the inside. They may be able to produce large attendance at meetings and large budgets, but their lack of rooting may cause them to fall in the long run.
In modern business terms, I would phrase it this way: we need to put more emphasis on Product Integrity than we do on Marketing Strategy. Too many ministries today are based more on their advertising power, than they are on the reality and purity of what they are producing.
Yeshua's name was greatly publicized because of the quality of what He did, without any advertising at all (Mark 1:45, Luke 5:15).
God called the Messiah to be both a covenant to the people of Israel and a light to all the nations (Isaiah 42:6; 49:6).
If our messianic movement is to have authenticity worldwide, then we must have real roots established here in the land of Israel. Our branches and our fruit have to do with our spirituality, but our roots have to do with our being indigenous. Our movement is authentic and indigenous to the degree that our faith is involved in the real life of the people here in Israel. That includes speaking the Hebrew language, being citizens of Israel, paying taxes here, raising our children, serving in the Army, buying homes, and being involved in the daily work world.
It also means that we must be sharing our faith locally, caring for the needy, raising up Israeli disciples, and being a part of the history and culture of our people. Such a community that was truly authentic and indigenous can be found in the example of the first century messianic community, described in the Book of Acts.
The Remnant of Israel
I believe this prophetic parable refers to the restored messianic remnant in Israel in the end times. We have a dual destiny, both to take root downward and to bear fruit upward. However, that dual destiny also represents a double challenge. For those who are immigrants, who came to faith somewhere in the nations outside of Israel, it is very difficult to take root within the local Israeli people and culture. For those native born Israeli (sabra) believers, it is also a challenge to learn and embrace everything that God is doing in the community of faith around the whole world.
May the Lord give us the grace both to be authentically rooted in Israel, as well as branching out to share the light of Yeshua around the world.
Please PRAY for our ongoing ministry in Israel of indigenous evangelism, planting Messianic congregations, the discipleship training center, prophetic praise and prayer watches in Hebrew, and financial aid for the needy.