The Bible is a story of promise and fulfillment with waiting in between. In our Made series, we have been walking through Genesis 1-3, from the beauty of creation to the devastation of sin entering the world. So how do we respond to our broken world? Oren Martin walks us through how to trust in God’s promises and put our hope in our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Made for a New World | Isaiah 11:1-16
Made to Be Saved | Genesis 3:15, 21-24
Made to Work | Genesis 3:17-19
Made to Gospel Our Relationships | Genesis 3:12-13
Made for a World Without Shame | Genesis 3:7-11
Made for a Different World | Genesis 3:1-7
Made for Relationships: Marriage | Genesis 2:18-25
Made for Relationship | Genesis 2:18-20
Made to Rest | Genesis 2:1-3
Made to Flourish | Genesis 2:4-25
God’s Heart for The Nations | Revelation 7:9-17
Made in the Image of God | Genesis 1:26-27
Great Questions Q&A Panel + MADE: to Teach | Genesis 1-3, 2 Timothy 2:24-26
How to Hear From God | Genesis 1:1-31
The Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit | Genesis 1:1-5
To Know God is to Worship God | Genesis 1:3-25
Is Your God Too Small? | Genesis 1:1-2
In this week’s sermon, we examine Isaiah 11. The prophet Isaiah lived in a time of waiting for the promises of Genesis 3:15 to be fulfilled when the kingdom was devastated by sin and destruction. Even though he was surrounded by people far from God, he called them to repent from their sins. Despite these circumstances, Isaiah had hope. Today, as we wait for Christmas, we will learn, just like Isaiah, that Jesus reveals himself in the New Testament as the fulfillment Isaiah was waiting for and He is our fulfilled hope as well.
Good morning, Watermark Community Church. Please turn in your Bibles to Isaiah, chapter 11. My name is Oren Martin. I serve on the Equipping Team as well as teach in the Institute. Let me just say a word of thanks. Some of you might recognize me from about five months ago. I was three weeks on the job, and they asked me to preach on 1 Corinthians, chapter 14, which, if you don't remember, was on prophecy, tongues, and the role of women in the church.
So, if you've hated me since then, let me just say thank you for giving me another chance to preach on a much less controversial chapter. I do want to say thank you, though. Thank you for welcoming my family and me to Watermark Community Church. We left our home of 18 years in Louisville, Kentucky. This is a city we'd never lived in, a church we'd never gone to. Let me just say, you have been nothing but kind and welcoming to us.
To the Wake ministry leadership, you have been kind and welcoming to my kids. To the fourth and fifth grade leadership, you have been kind to my son. We're so thankful for your hospitality and your welcoming of us as we've been here now for five months. It's a joy to be here with you all. Let me pray for us, and then we can jump into Isaiah, chapter 11.
Lord, your Word tells us that your Word is perfect; it revives the soul. It's sure; it makes wise the simple. It's right; it rejoices the heart. It's pure; it enlightens our eyes. It's true, and it's righteous altogether. I pray, Lord, if there's anyone here this morning who needs reviving, who needs wisdom, who needs righteousness, who needs their eyes opened to your glorious purposes and what you are doing to sum up all things in Christ, we pray, Lord, that you would work through your Word this morning. In Christ's name I pray, amen.
I don't know if you're like me, but I do not like waiting. We spend so much of our lives waiting…waiting for an appointment, waiting in line, waiting in traffic, waiting for Christmas. Here we are a week out, and my kids are waiting for Christmas because they know they're about to get something good. When I think of waiting, I think of a year we spent in northern Wisconsin. It was my first teaching job at a small Christian college.
We quickly found out that Wisconsin is actually in America. I always thought it was in Canada. I thought anything north of Nashville, Tennessee, was Canada. Little did we know when we moved to Louisville, Kentucky, that Louisville was in America. Not only that. You can drive north to places like Chicago and keep going north to places like Green Bay, and you're still in the United States of America. Little did we know there still was more land up there that belonged to the United States.
We were in the northern woods of Wisconsin 90 miles north of Green Bay. We went to church in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. So, when I say we were in northern Wisconsin, we were higher than most parts of… We were in Canada, basically. I remember someone describing to us when we first moved there that there would come a time when it would be above freezing (30, 31, 35 degrees) and you would feel like it was summertime. You'd be in short sleeves and shorts.
I was like, "You're crazy." Being from South Texas, 30 degrees might as well be Antarctica. It's freezing. Well, when the snow started coming in October and the temperatures began to drop and drop and drop to zero, to 10 below zero, to 30 below zero, to 40 below zero, then I understood what they were talking about. Actually, the year we were there was the coldest winter on record. There were 40 consecutive days where it didn't get above zero degrees. There were two weeks where it was -40 degrees.
As we were waiting for it to warm up, I remember the first day it got above 30 degrees. We have a picture to show. It's 31 degrees here in the picture you're about to see. Thirty-one degrees! Let me just point out a few things from this picture. First, there are banks of snow on either side of our son. We didn't see our yard from the beginning of October to the very beginning of May when we got another snow. Another thing you'll notice is he's in a tee shirt, and the other thing you'll notice is he's barefoot. Thirty-one degrees! It was miserable, but that day was glorious.
This kind of waiting, waiting to just get through the grind of winter, is terrible, but there's another kind of waiting. There's a better kind of waiting. This kind of waiting could be like waiting for marriage. It could be waiting to welcome a child into your home. It could be waiting for that promised promotion or that annual Christmas bonus, waiting for that long anticipated vacation. This kind of waiting brings hope. It brings anticipation. It even brings, at times, transformation and change in the present.
As you're waiting for your honeymoon, what are you doing? You're dieting. You're exercising. If you're Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation and you're waiting for that Christmas bonus, what are you doing? You're putting a down payment down on that long-anticipated swimming pool. Why am I talking about waiting? Because the Bible is a word that gives us a promise and fulfillment with waiting in between. The Bible, God's Word, is a story of promise and fulfillment with waiting in between.
We've just spent the past couple of months in Genesis 1-3. Some of you have been waiting for us to get out of Genesis. We've been in three chapters for, like, four months. We've seen the past few months in Genesis how it all began with God's good creation by God speaking words and everything coming into existence…the heavens, the earth, the stars, the moon, the sun, animals, sea creatures, land creatures, and birds.
It culminates in the creation of human beings, Adam and Eve…God speaking to them and blessing them and saying, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Subdue it. Here's everything I've given you to live and to flourish in my world." Yet we also saw in Genesis 3 how that abruptly came to a halt. With the tempting of Adam and Eve by the Serpent, who is later identified as Satan, we see sin enter the world and bring death, destruction, conflict, division, and curse on man and woman and work and childbearing and on the ground.
Yet in the midst of this judgment, in the midst of this conflict, difficulty, and death, we see a glorious promise where God speaks a word to Eve and says, "Eve, through you will come an offspring. Through you will come a son, and though he will receive an injury to his heel, he will deliver a fatal blow to the Serpent's head." There's the promise.
As I've taught the past 10 years in college and seminary… I teach on eschatology, which just means the doctrine of last things, the doctrine of end things. One of the things I tell my students… We often think of eschatology as "Oh, that happens in the book of Revelation, way down at the end." Actually, eschatology begins in the beginning, in Genesis 3, where God says to Eve, "Look. I'm going to give you a child. Through you, Eve, will come a son, an offspring, who will end Satan's tyranny, who will end sin and death."
So, from that moment we ought to put on, as I say, our eschatological glasses, because we're looking for that son. We're looking for that descendant. We're confronted in the very next chapter with Adam and Eve's children, Cain and Abel. Are these the sons? Is one of them the son through which will come God's blessing and put an end to death and sin? We're confronted quickly with the answer no.
God continues his gracious purposes, and there continue to be children who are born, but all we see from Genesis 4 on is sin reigns through death. Then we come to places like Genesis 6 where God raises up Noah and spares his family. Sin had so increased and escalated, yet God was gracious in saving one man's family. Is this finally the offspring through whom would come blessing? The answer is no. He sinned just like his parents.
Sin escalates again, and everyone does only what is evil continually, Genesis tells us, but God is gracious again and raises up one man Abram, who becomes Abraham. He receives these great promises. "I'm going to give you, Abraham, land and seed, and I'm going to bless you, and through you will come blessing to all of the families of the earth." Finally (Genesis 12, Genesis 15, Genesis 17), the offspring has come. Through him blessing will come.
Yet we see Abraham is a sinner too. He has children. He has offspring. He has sons, Isaac and Jacob. We are confronted again and again and again: they're sinners. Moses…sinner. The nation of Israel, God keeping his promises… "I'm going to make you a great nation. I'm going to make you a great name." We see God fulfilling his promises. Certainly, through Israel will come blessing to the nations. What do we see in Israel? Sin.
Yet from Israel comes an offspring. His name is David. We see the great promises of God narrow in on David as he becomes the king, the representative whom God blesses and through whom will come blessing. We read places like 2 Samuel, chapter 7, where he promises David a son, and that son will reign on the throne forever. He will have a kingdom that will have no end. David has a son. His name is Solomon. We're even confronted with the name Solomon. It kind of looks like and sounds a lot like shalom.
Finally, it's Solomon who will bring God's shalom, his peace and rest to his created order broken by sin, yet we see again Solomon is a sinner just like his dad was and just like his dad's dad was, going all the way back to Adam and Eve. So we're waiting. This is where we find ourselves this morning. We find ourselves in the book of Isaiah. Isaiah is prophesying in a time after David and Solomon where sin blew the kingdom apart. This united kingdom, the nation of Israel, split into two…northern kingdom: Israel, southern kingdom: Judah. They split.
Israel made it for a little while. No good king, and they're taken away into exile by Assyria. The southern kingdom, Judah, makes it for a little while longer. A few good kings, but eventually they fall, and they're taken into exile by Babylon. We find ourselves in the book of Isaiah right before Israel goes into exile by Assyria in about the eighth century. He's prophesying across the time when they are taken away into exile, right around this time.
So, the prophet Isaiah lived in a time of waiting. The prophet Isaiah knew God's promises. He knew and was waiting for an offspring to come who would end the curse of sin and bring God's blessing. He was waiting in a broken world with a broken people for God to fulfill his promises. What gave him hope, which we'll see, is the promise of a coming king who would make a new world and a new people.
I chose this passage this morning because we, like Isaiah, are waiting. We're waiting for God to fulfill his promises too. As we wait for Christmas to come, I want us to reset and orient our eyes on this king, because the same hope that was Isaiah's is our hope as well. So, let me read verses 1-5 and we'll jump in. The first thing Isaiah wants us to see is a new king. Chapter 11, verse 1:
"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."
What we see here in the beginning verses of chapter 11 is Isaiah opens with a promise of hope, but unless we hear what came before, the sound of hope will not be as clearly heard. Like I said, Isaiah was prophesying in a tumultuous time. Judgment looms over the horizon earlier in Isaiah. Judgment looms over the horizon because Assyria is coming to invade and destroy them because of their sin. Assyria was doing it in pride. They wanted to be king of the world, but God was raising them up to bring judgment on his people because they were covenant breakers. They were sinners.
In chapter 10, we see this picture described where God brings judgment. He was going to bring judgment early on in Isaiah on Israel and Judah for their sin, and here he's going to bring judgment on Assyria. Chapter 10 ends with an amazing picture where God will cut down the forest with an ax. That's verse 34 of chapter 10. In other words, the reader is left with utter devastation. He's mowing this forest down, and all there's going to be is death because of their sin and wickedness.
Then comes chapter 11. Isaiah tells us that in the midst of this forest that was laid bare there shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. Do you see it? Do you see that all of the signs of life had gone in the wake of judgment, but the hidden vitality of a stump and a root remain?
It reminds me of The Chronicles of Narnia where it had always been winter. It was dark. Israel was living in a time of darkness, sin, and judgment. Like Narnia, it had always been winter, at least for this generation's lifetime. We have this wonderful statement in The Chronicles of Narnia where he says, "Yes, it has always been winter, but Aslan is on the move." Do you remember that line?
Aslan, that Christlike figure in that story, is on the move. He's going to come, and when he comes, he's going to bring change. From that one stump here in Isaiah 11 a little shoot will grow and become a branch, and it will bear fruit, and that fruit will end with nothing less than a new world and a new people, which we'll see.
Now, you may be asking, "Who is Jesse?" Well, Jesse was no one spectacular, not someone the world would look at and say, "Man! That guy is something special. He's like the GOAT of his day. He's the Michael Jordan." That's not who Jesse was. Jesse was a no-name, and he had all of these sons, yet God chose Jesse to be the father of David, an unlikely king.
It's kind of like Archie Manning of our day. When you think of Archie Manning, the quarterback, you think he and his wife only give birth to Hall of Fame quarterback sons. When Israel thought of Jesse, they would have thought, "That guy only has sons like David, and that's our king, because that's the king who will have a son, and that son will bring blessing and a new kingdom and will reign forever."
Jesse was a reminder of God's faithfulness and a symbol of hope in the midst of an unfaithful people in a hopeless world. Jesse was the reminder that God is faithful to his promises, that in the midst of brokenness and chaos God intervenes and is faithful. Look at what Isaiah says about this coming king. He says, "The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him."
We know something good when that happens in Scripture. When the Spirit was hovering in Genesis 1, what happened? Creation. Here the Spirit is resting. What's going to happen? A different kind of king is going to come. We see that Spirit overshadowing Mary in Luke 1, and that's signaling to us "Aslan is on the move. Something or someone is coming."
The repetition of the word Spirit here tells us this coming king will have the Spirit like no other king. Israel had been waiting for a Spirit-anointed king to rule and to bring change. Not only that, but this sevenfold description of his presence emphasizes that this king is perfect. He's like no other king. So here, even now, Isaiah is signaling to his readers and signaling to us that there is no king like this king. In other words, this king has all that's needed to make right decisions, to exercise perfect discernment and judgment.
He has what's needed to see through the complexity of an issue, to get to the heart of a matter, and the ability to devise a good game plan and the ability to carry it out. That's what he's saying by this king having the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, of counsel and might, of knowledge and fear of the Lord. This king has everything needed to undo the disastrous effects of sin and to bring in a new kind of kingdom, a kingdom that's no longer marked by brokenness and sin, but a kingdom that's marked by salvation and peace.
Not only does this king have the qualities to save; he will also have the qualities to judge. Did you catch that in verses 3 and 4? He will not judge merely by human eye or decide disputes merely by human ear. No, Isaiah says. With righteousness he will judge and with impartiality, or equity, he will decide. Isaiah says in verse 4 that he will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he will kill the wicked.
Deep down, I think each one of us… There's something in us that wants justice in a broken world. We want justice for the unborn. We want justice for those who are underserved and live in underprivileged populations, or we want justice for the marginalized, or we want justice for the wronged. As good as justice systems strive to be, including our own, they're broken. Why? Because people who are involved in the justice system can't see everything.
They can't know everything. They're limited by their own limitations, knowledge, sight, and discernment. I mean, I think about this with my own kids, trying to get to the heart of an issue when there's an infraction. "Who started this?" They all say "he" or "she" did. I plead for God's mercy. "O God, help me get to the bottom of this infraction." It's difficult. There are complexities. There's sin. There's blame. There's conflict. Friends, this king is different.
It's interesting that in the book of Revelation… If some of you have been following on through Join the Journey, we've been in the book of Revelation. It's fascinating how Jesus is described. It says in chapter 1 Jesus' eyes were like a flame of fire, and when Jesus' messages are given to the churches in chapters 2 and 3, each message begins with "I know…" "I know your works. I know your tribulation. I know your dwellings. I know your poverty. I know, I know, I know…"
It's telling us that no one fools the Lord Jesus. When we can't see, he sees. When we can't hear, he hears. When we can't know, he knows. When we think we're alone and no one sees our sin, Jesus sees and Jesus knows. We can't pull the covers over Jesus' eyes. We can't fool him. He will rightly come to judge, and his judgment is just. This language from Isaiah is actually picked up in the New Testament in several places.
Matthew says that to those who are poor in spirit, who are humble before the Lord's greatness and majesty, who turn from their sin and humility and trust in King Jesus, God will give them an inheritance of eternal life, but those who are wicked, those who hold on to their sin, who don't repent, who don't turn from their sin, he will punish. In fact, Paul references this very language in Isaiah, chapter 11. Paul mentions it in 2 Thessalonians 2, speaking of Christ's coming again.
At his second coming, it says, when Jesus returns, he will destroy all who are opposed to him with the breath of his mouth. We're to think, "What power." Revelation 19 says something very similar, when he comes to judge the living and the dead. I mean, think about this. I've recently watched the Marvel movies and DC Comics movies with my sons in the past few months. I'm always struck by the superheroes and what powers they have.
I've asked my sons, "If you were any superhero, who would you be and what power would you have?" There are all kinds of answers we could give, but do you know what's a unanimous theme throughout all of them? There is no superhero who's powerful enough to change the world. There's no superhero who's powerful enough to end all evil once and for all and to make a new world, but King Jesus does.
Why does this king matter to you? I've been thinking about this question as I've been preparing for this sermon. One thing struck me in verse 5. "Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins." What does this mean? It means that at the very depths, the very core, Jesus is righteous and Jesus is faithful.
That means he is able and willing to do what we need him to do, to take care of our greatest need. Friends, that is good news. It's who Jesus is all the way down. He's righteous, he's faithful, he's able, and he's willing to take care of our sin. He's able and willing to save us from the power and penalty of sin as we wait for him to deliver us from the presence of sin.
As my family and I have moved here from Kentucky in the past few months, I can't tell you how many times it has made me anxious. I've ripped my family away from all they knew, from their friends, from their church, from familiarity, from the things they loved. It can cause me to be anxious and to worry and to take matters into my own hands, to try to do a work in them that only God can do. I've been reminded over and over and over and over that I cannot be faithful to my children. I'm going to fail them, but do you know who won't? King Jesus.
That's why I don't want my children to put their trust in me. I want my children to put their trust in King Jesus. Yes, I want to strive to be a faithful father, but I can't be for them what only Jesus can be for them. He is their faithful King, and he is their faithful Savior, and he is worthy of our trust. After describing who this king is, Isaiah describes for us what this king will do. He says in verses 6-9 that this king will bring a new world. Verses 6-9:
"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."
Ever since the fall into sin in Genesis 3, there has been disorder and conflict. Relationships and work, though a great blessing, are difficult. They're complex. We misunderstand. We're misunderstood. We sin against people. People sin against us, and when people sin against us, we respond sinfully. We don't always do what we want to do, and we do the things we don't want to do. On and on and on we see conflict and hardship and suffering and pain, but Isaiah describes a time when the curse of sin will be lifted and all disorder and conflict will be gone.
Think about one of the ways Isaiah describes it. I mean, imagine a child playing with a cobra. Have you ever seen a cobra? Have you ever seen the damage a cobra can do? Now, you may not recognize from my last name, but my claim to fame is someone named Joe Martin. Joe Martin is known for his Snakes of Texas. If you've been to a Hunters Extravaganza in Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, and anywhere in between… He has been all over America and all over the world with his snake club.
That's Joe Martin with about eight rattlesnakes. He'll get in a sleeping bag with about 30 rattlesnakes. I mean, he'll do crazy stuff. That's my uncle. It was terrifying to see him do these kinds of things. One of the things he did… They would do the kiss of death on a cobra. One time, I saw a guy in the snake club named Mike get bit on the very tip of his index finger on the outside. They got about 95 percent of the venom out within about three minutes, but that venom is so potent they had to go to extreme measures to save his hand. I'll spare you the details. It's gross.
If you're like me, people like my Uncle Joe are not normal. Snakes terrify me, and I grew up being around them. Now, imagine with me seeing your child or a child just casually walk into a den of cobras and thinking to yourself, "You know what? Look at that. That is the cutest thing I have ever seen in my life. Come get a picture of this, guys. This is awesome. They're so cuddly." No, that is crazy.
This is unimaginable apart from meditating on the power of a king so great and so powerful and so good he has the ability to change the most terrifying thing into the most playful of toys for children. But why a snake? You may guess it. As we've seen in Genesis 3, it was through the Serpent, who's identified with Satan later on in Scripture… It was through the Serpent that sin came into the world, through the Serpent's tempting of Eve as she ate and gave it to her husband and he ate. Sin and death and conflict were unleashed on the world.
Since that day, as God cursed the Serpent, saying, "On your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust," this slithery foe has been public enemy number one, and I think there's a reason there's a universal fear of snakes, besides weird people like my Uncle Joe. (I've told him he's weird.) In the new world, that foe will be defeated. Everything we fear and every experience of brokenness and death will be banished, and things like snakes will be toys for children. It's incredible.
If you fast-forward to Isaiah 65, this language of a new world is picked up again, where it says God will create a new heavens and a new earth and a new Jerusalem and there will be peace. There will be no more conflict. These same animals who throughout history have been at conflict now will be made at peace. We're faced with the question…When will this be? The New Testament tells us it will be finally when Jesus returns to establish his perfect kingdom.
We see it in places like Revelation 11:15 where it says, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever." Or later on, in Revelation 21 and 22, where it says in the same language of Isaiah 65, "Behold, I create a new heavens and a new earth" and "I see a new Jerusalem coming down and filling the earth with God's glorious presence."
Friends, as we think about these Scriptures, as we think about this time when this king will return and make all things new, we're confronted with the reality that this is the world we are longing for. Our inventions will not get us there. Our good works will not get us there. No president or supreme court justice will get us there. Only Christ will get us there.
In that world, there will be no more conflict, no more pain, no more divorce, and no more disease. There will be no more hurt or destruction on God's holy mountain. We're living for that world. This hope shapes us, transforms us, changes us to live differently in the present as we're living for something better. So, let's prepare for that world now. Let's not give in to lesser things.
A trillion years from now, we won't regret fleeing from the fleeting pleasures, the momentary pleasures of sin, to experience more joy as a result of being freed from our sin in Christ. Think about John 15 where Jesus says, "I have come to give you my joy so that in me your joy might be made full." Sin doesn't give us that joy. Jesus does. As we experience that joy, now we await for that joy to be made full.
Not only will this king bring about a new world. The third thing Isaiah tells us is he will make a new people. I won't read the whole passage, but verse 10 says, "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."
I want you to see something about verse 10. It says, "In that day the root of Jesse…the nations shall inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious." Did you notice the language? Think about verse 1 that says he is the shoot of Jesse and a branch from his roots, and here, verse 10 says this one will be the root of Jesse. What's going on here? How is this person both? How can he be, on the one hand (verse 1), from Jesse, yet verse 10 says he's the root of Jesse, the one from whom Jesse comes? In other words, how can he come after Jesse yet be before Jesse?
It reminds me of John, chapter 1, where John the Baptist says of his younger cousin, "He who comes after me ranks before me because he was before me." Think about that. Jesus, who's six months younger than John the Baptist according to his humanity, ranks before him. Why? Because he came before John the Baptist according to his deity. In other words, this is none other than God the Son, the eternal God who took on our human nature, who became one of us.
The New Testament reminds us that this is the very Son of God who took on our human nature, who lived a life we couldn't live, who died the death we deserved to die, who paid the penalty we couldn't pay, so that through his death and resurrection and his righteous life we could be saved from our sin. As a result, this King will gather from the nations his people, just like the promises to Abraham declare, "I'll bless you, and through you the nations of the earth will be blessed."
This offspring is none other than Jesus. We see in this present time that people from every tribe, tongue, people, and language are coming to King Jesus. Actually, Paul saw this coming true in his own mission to the Gentiles. He quotes this very verse (verse 10) in Romans, chapter 15, to show that the mission God promised to Abraham is coming true in the ministry of Paul as he takes the gospel to the Gentiles. You know what? You and I have that same mission.
I pray that many of you in this room will join in that mission as we declare King Jesus, the only one who can save us from our sins, to your neighbors and to the nations, that some of you might even pack up and go to tell people who have never heard, because we want people from every tribe, tongue, people, and language to hear about this King Jesus and to confess and sing on that day of Revelation 5, "Worthy are you, the Lamb who was slain. For by your blood you ransom people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you made them a kingdom of priests for your God, and they shall reign forever and ever."
Brothers and sisters of Watermark, our King has come. In fact, if you turn to Luke, chapter 4… When Jesus begins his ministry, he begins his ministry in Nazareth. By the way, Nazareth looks a whole lot like the word branch in Isaiah 11, telling us that this branch, this little sprout of life, will come from an obscure city, Nazareth. Jesus begins his ministry there.
It's interesting, because he's handed the scroll of Isaiah, and he finds the place where he wants to read. He says in Luke 4:18, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me," which is language from Isaiah 61 and Isaiah 11. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
He rolls up the scroll. Think about this. Seven hundred years before Christ stepped on the scene, they had these promises of Isaiah. They had been waiting for a king to come who could heal them, who could make the blind see and the lame walk, who could come and bring salvation and forgive sins. Jesus finds the place where they had known these promises because their parents told them and their parents' parents told them and their parents' parents' parents told them, all the way back to Isaiah's day.
Jesus rolls up the scroll and gives it back to the attendant, and he sits down. You could hear the air cut like a knife. Everyone was looking at him. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Jesus says, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." In other words, "The King has come." He goes to show us through his life and ministry that he is the only one who could make the blind see and the lame walk, and he's the only one who could forgive our sins.
In Isaiah's words, this King is spectacular. This is God the Son, the eternal Word, who became what he was not (a man) while remaining what he had always been (God) to do for us what we could not do for ourselves, for us and for our salvation. Jesus came to save us, and he didn't do it from a distance. He did it by becoming one of us.
If you haven't received the forgiveness of sins and eternal life in him, today can be the day. O God, I pray that today would be the day that someone would give their life to King Jesus. This is the good news of the gospel, but for now we wait. We wait for God to finish what he began by the very death and resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, but we wait in hope. Let's pray.
Father in heaven, I thank you for this unshakable hope we have in Jesus. Thank you that the King has come. Thank you that this King saves. Thank you that this King has the power to save us from the power and penalty of sin, and he will come again and deliver us from the presence of sin.
I can't think of a better way, Lord, to finish than the response to Isaiah 11 in chapter 12 that says, "I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid…" O God, may we trust and not be afraid, because the Lord God is our strength and our song, and he has become our salvation. Lord Jesus, we trust in you. In your name we pray, amen.