Monday, December 12, 2011

Devotion 10. Jesus The Branch

Another term for the Messiah in the Old Testament is “the Branch”. Isaiah 11:1-3 says:

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.

In earlier chapters Isaiah prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem, Israel and Judah. He always maintained that a remnant will be preserved from destruction. For example, Isaiah 10:20-23 speaks of the destruction of Israel and the preservation of a small remnant. From that remnant, the Messiah will come.

Jesse was David’s father (1 Samuel 16). We have in previous devotions seen the passages in which God promised to bring the future king, the Messiah, through David’s descendants. This is the intent of these passages concerning the Branch.

The judgment to come, the destruction of the northern kingdom by Assyria and the southern kingdom by Babylon, is portrayed as the cutting down of the trees of a great forest. This includes the tree of Jesse’s family. But out of the stump of that tree a new shoot and branch will grow. So God will preserve Jesse and David’s line and bring forth another descendant that is special.

Isaiah said “the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him (11:2). John the Baptist testified “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove and it remained on him”.

Isaiah also said “his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD”. Jesus said “I have come down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38). He said “I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me” (John 6:28) and “I always do the things that are pleasing to him” (John 6:29).

The Father preserved the line and brought Jesus out of it. He gave his people some idea of what to expect. But Jesus was much than they expected.

Jeremiah also related the words of the LORD concerning the Branch (23:5). He said “Behold, the days are coming declares the LORD when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch and he shall reign as King and deal wisely and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

This seems to speak of Jesus after all his enemies are defeated and he reigns on the new earth. Jeremiah 33:14 seems to echo this same thoughts. In Zechariah 3:8 the LORD said he would bring his servant the Branch.

Zechariah 6:12 is an interesting verse. It says the Branch will build the temple of the LORD. Jesus alluded to this passage when he said “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19).

Zechariah wrote that the Branch will bear royal honor and shall sit and rule on his throne (6:13). We previously looked at Jesus as king, taking over the throne of David and fulfilling the promise of God. We know he rose to the right hand of the father and reigns there until all enemies are put under his feet.
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