The Root of Jesse

three young plants at varying stages of growth

In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. Isaiah 11:10 NIV

The New Testament begins with the genealogy of Jesus. For modern readers, these names are often difficult to pronounce and may cause us to wonder why this list exists in the first place. In Matthew 1:17, we find an interesting summary,

So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

David’s name appears twice in this short verse and sits as if it’s an anchor in the genealogy of Christ and there’s a reason for that. Throughout the Bible, we constantly see references to David in terms of his faith and relationship with God, but also in terms of the covenant God had made with him.

There are many Messianic prophecies that mention David’s lineage.  Here are a few of them,

  • “And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.” 2 Samuel 7:16 NKJV
  • Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. Isaiah 9:7 ESV
  • There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. Isaiah 11:1 ESV

While speaking to King Ahaz about the impending Assyrian invasion, the prophet Isaiah had words of judgment against Judah, Israel, and Assyria. But he offered words of hope too. Though Israel and Judah will experience the Lord’s anger, they will not be completely destroyed (Isaiah 8:1-10:22).

Out of the stump of Jesse’s family will grow a shoot, a new branch that will flourish and bear fruit (Isaiah 11:1). I love the imagery used to depict the future of David’s lineage. Many times we see trees that have been cut down for whatever reason and for a while, it may seem as if that’s the end of the tree.

But as long as the root remains in the ground and is able to get the right nutrients, the tree will grow again. Many times, the tree that springs up from the stump is more beautiful and resilient than the tree that had been nearly destroyed.

My friend, just as those words offered hope to the people of Israel, they offer hope for us today. The promised Messiah has come and because of Him, we have access to the forgiveness of our sins and the hope of eternal life.

The trials of this world may attempt to drag us down but we have hope and His name is Jesus.

Prayer

Abba Father, we are so grateful for Your Son. Help us to hold on to that hope when life gets hard. Thank You for sending us the Root of Jesse who has placed a banner of salvation over us. In Jesus’s name, we pray, Amen.

Pause for Reflection

  • Read Isaiah 8:1-11:16. What encouragement can we still find in that passage today?
  • Think about what a tree needs to grow, how might we find parallels between what we need to grow spiritually?
  • Spend a few minutes thanking God for the gift of His Son.

Other actions you can take:

The Root of Jesse
The Root of Jesse