Isaiah 11:1-2, 10 Then a shoot will grow from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him—
a Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
a Spirit of counsel and strength,
a Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
On that day the root of Jesse
will stand as a banner for the peoples.
The nations will seek Him,
and His resting place will be glorious.
The last post that I wrote (sorry for skipping a day—bad headache) concerned God taking a twig off the very top of the tree of Abraham to separate from the heritage of sin before replanting it. Today’s verses also focus on keeping the Messiah’s life distant from the human sinful world. However, the approach is different. Instead of replanting a twig to start a new tree, these verses give the idea that old family tree has been chopped down until only a stump remains.
Once the tree of sin, of Adam’s heritage, has been toppled, the Messiah will spring from the roots of Jesse.
Why Jesse? Why name him? Why not say from the roots of David or the roots of Abraham?
Well, Jesse was David’s father. But he didn’t just raise a king. He raised warriors, a few who made it into Scripture by the briefest name reference, one that fathered one of David’s mighty men, and one that fathered a traitor. David was the eighth and youngest son.
So Jesse fathered Israel’s greatest king and the man after God’s own heart. But he didn’t realize it. In fact, when Samuel came to Jesse to anoint the next king, Jesse discounted David as a possible reason for the visit. He didn’t even include him in the list of sons to appear.
Sin has a tendency to discount heaven’s purposes.
Now the roots of Jesse that gave rise to Israel’s greatest king will also generate history’s greatest king. The same lineage that brought about a David will welcome the Messiah for all mankind.
But to make the new tree holy, to keep it pure, the tree of sin must die. When Jesus is crucified, when he called out: “It is finished!” the tree of Jesse was chopped down.
Three days later the root sprang to life, full-sized and flowering. And we have been basking beneath it ever since.
A Sixty-Day Countdown to Christmas