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The Branch of Jesse

Advent 2020: December 16
The Branch of Jesse Hero Image The Branch of Jesse Hero Image
Scripture:

“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. 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. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.” (Isaiah 11:1-10)

Devotion:

We live in a broken world, full of conflict, disease, and decay, with death being the ultimate example of how things are not the way we wish they could be.

Isaiah 11 starts with an example of that brokenness. Jesse was King David’s father. Someone from the family line of Jesse and David was supposed to be king forever (2 Samuel 7:16). However, the nation was defeated by enemies and had no king for hundreds of years. The family tree of Jesse was just a stump; David’s descendants survived, but they were not kings.

However, from that stump, God promised that a new King would be born and produce fruit. This King would be different. Every other king throughout history has been imperfect, marked by the same sin tendencies that we all have. This King, though, would rule perfectly and judge rightly, having the fullness of God’s wisdom, understanding, faithfulness, and power. All nations would look to Him for guidance. He would usher in a different kind of world, where even natural enemies (like wolves and lambs, or lions and calves) would live at peace with each other. There will be no more killing or death, and nothing would be hurt or destroyed.

700 years after this prophesy was made, Jesus would be born. He is the branch from the root of Jesse. Although He died, He came back to life and will rule forever, fulfilling God’s promise about David’s kingly line. And in His future reign, there will be no more death or pain (Revelation 21:1-4); we can look forward to a new heaven and new earth that will be as peaceful and perfect as the scene described here.

Questions:
  1. What are some examples of how you have experienced the brokenness of this world in your own life? How do God’s promises give you hope?
  2. What are you most looking forward to being “made new” (Revelation 21:5)?
  3. Is there anyone in your life who you can make peace with now?
Family Activity:

God promises that Jesus will make all things new when He returns again, even creation itself. Draw a picture of a lion and a lamb together showing how Jesus will bring peace to the whole world and all of creation. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17 together. Pray that your family will be made new day by day through your faith in Jesus and His Spirit that works in your hearts.