READ : Isaiah 11:1-10
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse. (v. 1)
My son’s name is Jesse, and whenever this beautiful passage from Isaiah is read a big smile crosses his face. One time when he was younger his uncle even called him on the phone to tell him they were talking about him in church that morning. Yet what in the world does this mean? What is the “stump of Jesse”?
Isaiah is referring to new life coming to the nation of Israel. Jesse was the father of King David, whose reign was remembered as Israel’s golden age. By the time of Isaiah’s prophecy all that was left of the nation was the little kingdom of Judah, and that would soon fall to a foreign power. The agonies of the exile were ahead. But Isaiah prophesies about a branch that will grow from the stump and bear fruit, and a coming day of peace where natural enemies will live in harmony. In Revelation 22:16 Jesus identifies himself as that branch from the house of David.
Throughout the scriptures, we see God bringing new life from dead places. Isaac is born to ancient Abraham and Sarah; the Spirit brings dry bones to life in Ezekiel 37; Lazarus walks out of his tomb at Jesus’ command. Best of all, Jesus rises in triumph from the grave. Death doesn’t stand a chance against him!
Lord, let nothing in us hinder your new creation.