Day 5

The Stem of Jesse

from the Advent 2017: Joy to the World reading plan


1 Samuel 16:6-13, Isaiah 11:1-6, Isaiah 53:2-3, Matthew 12:22-23, Matthew 22:41-46, Revelation 22:16

When I was a boy, our family owned a landscaping company for a very short period of time. I would often accompany my dad to a particular property where we would assess where we might plant new trees and shrubbery. On occasion, we would happen across the stump of a tree in a place where my dad wanted us to plant something. I distinctly remember my dad showing me new growth shooting up out of one such stump. He took the opportunity to teach me how God makes use of that illustration in His Word regarding the prophecies about the coming King and Redeemer.

When God first established His kingdom in Israel, He chose David—the youngest of the seven sons of Jesse who, by outward appearance and circumstances, was the least likely to be chosen (1 Samuel 16:6-13). The Covenant Lord then promised to raise up a seed from David to sit on the throne of God, ruling over God’s people forever. David was not the ultimate King of Israel; the Son of David, Jesus Christ, would be the everlasting King.

In the Prophets, we discover the metaphorical language of the Redeemer being the “root and branch of Jesse” (Isaiah 11:1-10). Jesus is both God (i.e. the root) and man (i.e. the branch). Isaiah envisaged the Messiah would “grow up before [the Lord] as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground” (Isaiah 53:2). When the hope of Israel had seemingly been dashed to pieces by the captivity they had suffered at the hands of oppressors, the Lord caused a tender shoot to spring up out of the remaining stump of His kingdom.

The imagery of Jesus being the root and branch of Jesse is picked up in the final revelation of Scripture. Twice in the book of Revelation, the conquering and glorified Jesus is said to be “the root of David” (Revelation 5:5; 22:16), the victorious source of everlasting life for His people. Though He was cut off in judgment on the cross, He sprouted again in the resurrection.

Jesus is both the root and branch of Jesse—the maker of covenantal promises and the One who fulfills them. So no matter how desolate our lives may seem, we can look to Jesus and be reminded of how God made new life to sprout of the greatest desolation. We who trust in Christ Jesus are “rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith” (Colossians 2:7).

Written by Nick Batzig

Post Comments (8)

8 thoughts on "The Stem of Jesse"

  1. Andrew says:

    I love hearing how the prophesies have been fulfilled!

  2. Brian says:

    A great reminder today that God chooses and uses the least likely. I love watching this story unfold.

  3. Matt Baker says:

    Reading about prophecies of Christ’s coming and then seeing them realized is truly an awe-inspiring thing. God took someone who was so undervalued by men and made him into a great king and from that lineage came Jesus. It just shows how He can do great things through all of us, regardless of how others view us.

  4. Colt Duppen says:

    I think the idea that stands out most to me in this reading is “So no matter how desolate our lives may seem, we can look to Jesus and be reminded of how God made new life to sprout of the greatest desolation. We who trust in Christ Jesus are “rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith” (Colossians 2:7).” I think it’s important not to lose sight of your faith especially when it is being tested. It’s so easy to do so, but the strong thing to do is remain faithful.

    During the first verse it talks about how Jesse was showing off the sons that he thought God would want to pick, based upon physical qualities. Little did he know that God was judging on the heart of each of the men. God had Jesse send for his last son who was tending the sheep and it turned out that this was the chosen one to have the seed that would be Jesus Christ.

    Then next verse uses the words “branch” and “roots” to talk about the everlasting king. Jesus is both the root, God, and the branch, mankind. And being that he was a shoot, he was fragile and able to blend in. He was given the responsibility of judging the poor righteously and to gain justice for the oppressed. I think this is an important point to make because it is often that people judge by what they see and hear without being able to see who the person truly is in the inside. I know that us, as people, do not have the ability to see people’s hearts the way the Lord does, but I think we can all be a little less quick to judge based on the way other people sound or look.

    The third verse further points out that Jesus did not stand out, he was not impressive in appearance. He was actually despised by Man and because of this he was extremely undervalued. I think this connects back to the verse before in which it talks about judgement. For me, it is easy to see how people can get judged very quickly and how detrimental of a mistake that could be. You never know who you will meet that could potentially change your life in ways for the better if you judge people by the way they look and sound.

    The first Matthew verse in this reading talks about the first miracle and how people referred to him as the son of David and not the son of God. In the second Matthew verse it actually shows Jesus asking the Pharisees how they think he is the son of David if David calls him “Lord”. This makes them rethink it completely and never question him again. This is important to me because it shows the actual understanding of those around Him to what He really is.

    The last verse really stood out to me today as well because Jesus again used the word “root” in reference to Himself. So he is saying the he is both the descendent of David in the fact that he is flesh and blood, but he is also god because he is the root. This was the ultimate fulfilling of the promise that God made in the prophecies giving them the King of Kings, the Redeemer.

  5. Philip Seris says:

    It is amazing to think that Jesus is both the prophecy and the fulfillment, the stump and the branch- it is i fathomable that he can be both…and yet time and time again he shows his power and majesty. He is mighty to save. And he came to die for me – unimaginable

  6. Pastor JB says:

    God is, and always has been, in the business of using the unlikely and unusual. He chose Abraham and in his old age to father an entire nation. He chose Moses, a murderer and a stutterer, to lead his propel out of Egypt. He chose David, the youngest son of Jesse, to become King of Isreal. He chose Mary, a scared teenage girl, to birth the Savior, and King of Kings was humbly born in a manger. He does such things so that no man can get the glory; it all belongs to Him.

  7. Kit says:

    A savior unexpected, misunderstood but consistent with Gods chosen. Looking not to impress outwardly but to rule well from inward strength that I might submit inwardly to His rule. I must look at His beauty & seek His inward beauty for my own. Give me eyes to see and a heart to obey the king. Let me not seek my own rule.

  8. Stephen Perry says:

    2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

    Wisdom & Understanding: Lord I pray, please help me today to have wisdom that only can come from you. Help me to be understanding in my life and teach me to lead the way in areas like these. I truly want to honor you and be equipped to be more like Jesus!

    Counsel & Might: Lord Jesus, you are wonderful counselor! Help me I pray to continue to take heed to your counsel in and over my life. Your plan & your purposes are best!

    Knowledge & Fearless: Fill me Lord with knowledge that can only come from you I pray Lord. I need you God!

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