Day 3. The Jesse Tree Branch

This entry is part 4 of 23 in the series A Christmas Story Devotional

Day03,Branch

 

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse, from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.  The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. Isaiah 11:1-3  

The symbol of the Jesse tree branch which springs out of a stump is a picture of Christ, budding forth from the stump of the tree of David.  The names ‘branch’ and ‘shoot’ are Messianic titles tracing the lineage of Christ all the way back to Adam. The term branch is also a play on words as the Hebrew word for branch is ‘nezer’, and is similar to the word Nazarene, the town from which Jesus came.  Remember how Nazareth was a despised a place?  

The prophets tell Israel about the coming Messiah and his humble roots.

Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.  He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.  Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.  Isaiah 53:1-3

Jesus had none of the trappings of royalty like King David, and was the unexpected king, who would take on all the transgressions and iniquities of the world, not as a political bigwig, a warrior-general of the military or a high ranking legal judge.  He came instead softly, humbly in a stable, later riding into Jerusalem on a lowly donkey as the Servant King.  People of that day expected the pomp and circumstance of royalty, the instant killing of all evil and establishment of worldly justice, much like we do today. Instead, we are all given a chance to be redeemed through loving one another.  Yes, it’s all upside down and the world has it wrong and heaven is rejoicing because there are many yet to come to faith right now, right around you.

We do not have to come in grandeur and expect people to see our  importance.  With the coming of Christ the entire system was turned upside down and the humble one, born in the stable, to a virgin, would take all our sin and suffering gloriously.  He would set the bar of holiness and show us what it truly means to be set-apart. The good news is that Jesus allows us to come from anywhere.  We don’t have to be a certain ‘stock’ or denomination to be called into the kingdom and allowed to become all He wants us to be. This is the true hope, and the only hope of the world. 

And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.”  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:12-13

If you are a believer, you are grafted into the family of God whether you come from money or prestige, are a celebrity or from the humblest place on earth.  We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but in Christ we are made whole and useful to God’s kingdom and are asked to serve with joy.

We thank God that our hope has come.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,  who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,  for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:3-9

We thank God we may be called  holy.

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.  As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;  for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.  For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors,  but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.  He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.  Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.  1 Peter 1:13-23

 

Print this post by clicking on the green ‘printer friendly’ bar below, and write your answers to these questions.

Question (feel free to journal your answer here)  Has your spirit felt to be of low esteem and unworthy to be called a child of God?  How does Jesus’ coming as a baby overturn the supposed order of the world?  Who do you know that needs to hear bout this Branch?

 

 

 

Your prayer (feel free to write your prayer here)

 

 

 

 

 

Being a branch,

Laurie

 

Branch jewelry can be found at shop.livedan330.com.

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