Advent: Jesus is the Root of David
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. (Isaiah 11:1–5)
Read: Isaiah 11:1-10
The family of Abraham (Israel), and more specifically the family of David (Jesse’s son), played a huge role in God’s plan to redeem a people for Himself. God had made a covenant with David, just like He did with Abraham, and Isaiah’s prophecy reminded the Israelites that God was still on His mission—undeterred. Speaking of David, Paul preached during his first missionary journey: “Of this man’s offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as He promised” (Acts 13:23).
Not only would this righteous branch of David delight “in the fear of the Lord,” but also “the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him” (Isaiah 11:2-3). The Spirit of God would rest upon God the Son, who would be sent by God the Father. The trinitarian nature of God has never been more visible and more clear than in the Incarnation of Christ, the Advent! This great, great, great, great grandson of Jesse would not judge through human means, but by the righteousness of God. This promised Messiah would be known by His righteousness and faithfulness. The former prophets (Isaiah included) spoke the words the Lord gave them to utter. They were mere mouthpieces. However, the coming Immanuel would “strike the earth with the rod of His mouth” (Isaiah 11:4). No iniquity would be able to dwell in Him or in His presence, but He would uphold the Lord’s holiness.
“…for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:9)
“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 11:10)
Paul, in Romans 15:12, quoted Isaiah 11:10 and pointed to the hope Christ made available to Jews and Gentiles. Jesus came through the family and lineage of David but came to rescue people from all tribes and tongues. Looking back to the covenant God made with Abraham, the Messiah would come to bless all nations in salvation by grace through faith.
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9)
- God worked His plans, for generations and generations, to send the Son for our salvation. If you lived in the period prophecy, 700 years before Christ’s birth, would you have been looking for the Savior to come? Would you have hoped for His very presence like some or would you have hoped only for the gifts He was expected to bring (worldly peace, kingdom on earth, etc.)?
- Why do you worship the Lord? The gift Jesus brought the world on Advent was Himself. This was the promise! He is the “signal for the peoples” and He is the glorious “resting place.” This Christmas, make certain that you are worshipping Christ for the gift of who He is, not merely what He provides.
Lord Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man, you alone are the Righteous One. Thank you for giving us yourself in the Advent. You are our greatest gift. Fellowship with you is far beyond my understanding! I know that you alone stand as a sign for salvation to the nations and provide yourself as the glorious resting place. Teach me to rest in you alone.
Family Discipleship Time
- Who was Jesse’s son? (King David was Jesse’s son, the shepherd runt who was chosen as King of Israel by God and called “a man after my own heart.”)
- Did this prophecy, being born in Jesse’s family line, come true? (Yes, the genealogy in Matthew 1 shows us highlights from David and Jesse’s line. Jesus fulfilled this prophecy.)
- What was special about the Israelites (like Abraham, Jesse, and David)? Were they perfect? (No, Jesus is the only one who lived perfectly. The Israelites were sinful just like everyone else, but God chose their family to be the family that Jesus would one day be born into—by the miraculous virgin birth.)
- Did Jesus come only to save the Israelites? (No, the Bible tells us that people from all nations and languages will one day be saved and worship Jesus in Heaven. Jesus was a “signal for the peoples.”)
- Does the Bible talk about how the Spirit of the Lord rested on Jesus? (Yes, Jesus’s baptism shows us this prophecy happening in the gospel accounts.)
- “The Teenie, Weenie, True King” in The Jesus Storybook Bible
Free Advent Bible Study (2023)
Let’s stand back and marvel at God’s grace and sovereignty, and focus on God this Christmas. May we join with the angels singing, “Glory to God in the highest” (Luke 2:14).
Join this 25-day Advent journey as we worship Christ and celebrate his coming.
John Ragon is Snowbird’s website manager. He lives in Western NC with his wife and six amazing kids, and began serving at Snowbird in 2009 after graduating from Union University.
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