Daily Devotion Tuesday June 13, 2017
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge of the fear of the LORD—and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.”
Dozens of Isaiah’s prophecies were pointing to the person of the Messiah—Jesus Christ the Son of the highest God. In the first few verses of the 11th chapter, Isaiah makes a prominent prophecy which pointed to Jesus Christ referring to him as the shoot that grows from the stump of Jesse. Who was Jesse? He was the son of Obed whose mother was Ruth the Moabite. Obed fathered Jesse and Jesse fathered David—a man after God’s own heart with whom God made his covenant and established the kingdom of Israel. Of the Lord Jesus, Isaiah spoke;
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge of the fear of the LORD—and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.” Isaiah 11:1-3
Although these verses’ immediate focus must have been king Hezekiah whom God had raised as a rod to break the yoke of Assyria which had subdued Israel for some time, the virtues and qualities of the king described here falls short of the king Hezekiah. Hezekiah who governed with a distinctive regard to the Lord unlike the other kings who preceded and succeeded him did not end well. The same Isaiah rebuked him of displaying the treasures in the LORD’s temple and his palace to a Babylonian empire. God was displeased with this action of king Hezekiah. There is a King more powerful yet meek, and more righteous than king Hezekiah, he is Christ Jesus the King of kings whom Isaiah’s prophecy pointed to.
Like the Assyrians who invaded the Israelites, Satan has invaded mankind and has made us slaves of sin. Mankind stands vulnerable to the thief who comes but only to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10). In a heated debate between Christ and the Jews about the messiah-ship claims by the former—Jesus Christ, the then Jews asked a question that truly reveals that the Messiah will come from the house of David. They asked; “Does not the Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?” (John 7:42). They were right in saying that the Messiah will come from the house of David, this is exactly what Isaiah prophecies here but yet they didn’t believe that he was the Messiah.
At his birth, heavenly beings testified to the shepherds watching their flocks by night in the fields, “Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11). The Guests—Magi who came to visit the Messiah didn’t know where exactly he was born, they came to king Herod who inquired from the chief priests and teachers of the Law. They rightly said that the Messiah was to be born “In Bethlehem in Judea” and they perfectly quoted Micah 5:2,4 to this effect (Matthew 2:4-6).
Jesus Christ is the Messiah prophesied and fulfilled—the rod of Jesse born in the house of David. When we miss this fact, we mess everything. Denying that Christ is the Messiah as the Jews of his time did is an automatic denial of God’s plan of salvation for mankind. We are saved only if we confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from the dead (Rom. 10:9-10). Any theology that robs Jesus of Lordship is short of the person of Jesus Christ and it is not what Scriptures attests.
He came not only as a Saviour of the Jews but of the whole world. He came as the Lamb of the world to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). He will come again as a righteous Judge and King to judge the living and the dead as we always affirm it in our Christian creeds. This Branch of Jesse – Jesus Christ has brought all those who believe in him into the household of God regardless of race, colour and language. He wants to make us citizens of his glorious kingdom which Isaiah describes in chapter 11 verses 6-9. Let us therefore fix our eyes onto Christ Jesus the Root of Jesse our banner as we anticipate his glorious return. Amen! Rev. J
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Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are taken from the New International Version (NIV). Rev. Julius Izza Tabi is a pastor in the Anglican Church of Uganda, Ma’di & West Nile Diocese. Julius served as an assistant Chaplain and lecturer at the Arua Campus of the Uganda Christin University. He is currently a candidate of Master of Philosophy in Religion, Society and Global Issues at Det Teologiske Menighetsfakultet alias the Norwegian School of Theology, in Oslo, Norway. He is an author of the Popular Triumphing Over Odds . For pastoral assistance you can contact him here and you can also help to support this site and his ministry by donating here.