Summary: An exploration of the meaning of the 2 names of Jesus revealed in Isaiah 11-12

The Branch and The Root of Jesse

Isaiah 11-12

Jesus has many names.

Prince of Peace, Lord of Lords, Morning Star, King of Kings, Immanuel, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Lion of Judah, Living Word, Blessed Redeemer, Bread of Life, Living water, the Rock, the light of the World.

These are just a few of his names, each one loaded with meaning and significance.

In Isaiah 11, which we are going to study today, Jesus is called “The Branch” and the “Root of Jesse”.

These are rather curious names. Why is Jesus referred to in such a way? What is the meaning of these sacred names?

To understand these name and their meanings we have to do a little digging.

I. The history of these 2 names of Jesus

How did Jesus come by these 2 names?

Ruth 4:13-17 sets us on our way by telling us who Jesse is

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. 14 The women said to Naomi: "Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth." Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him. 17 The women living there said, "Naomi has a son." And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

a. Jesse was a relative of Boaz and Ruth. What distinguish’s Ruth is that she was not a Jew by birth and yet she ultimately related to Jesus

b. Jesse was the father of David

c. To David, God made an incredible promise. The promise God made to David was this: “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.” 2 Samuel 7:16

d. Because of the sin of many of the Davidic kings, disaster and judgment overtook the descendants of Jesse. As such the line of Jesse was humbled and even brought close to the point of extinction. Note the word picture of Isaiah 11:1. All that remained for a time of Jesse was a stump in the ground

e. God is always faithful to his promises. From this stump, from the humbled line of Jesse came Jesus, the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promise to David. When Jesus entered our world, no descendant of David had sat as king for 600 years, but then along comes Jesus- a king recognized as such only by a few.

II. The fruitfulness of Jesus/The Branch/The Root of Jesse

One of the themes of the Bible as it pertains to us who are the followers of Jesus is that we produce and bear fruit in keeping with being a Christian.

In Isaiah 11:1 it speaks of Jesus being “The Branch” who bears fruit.

Note: The key to unpacking Isaiah 11-12 is to understand that these 2 chapters example for us what Isaiah means by Jesus bearing fruit. What is this fruit that comes from the one called “The Branch”?

Unlike his predecessors, Jesus, in his incarnation Jesus perfectly embodied everything God wants us in terms of ones speech, motives, thoughts, behavior, etc. Jesus bore fruit and continues to bear fruit to this day.

The fruit that Isaiah prophesies Jesus/The Branch/The Root of Jesse will bear

A least 5 identifiable fruits of Jesus’ ministry highlighted in our text

a. The fruit The Branch/The Root of Jesse/Jesus will bear will owe itself to the work of the Holy Spirit 11:2

Jesus’ ongoing ministry, which started at his baptism by John the Baptist, was a Spirit led, Spirit directed, Spirit empowered ministry. When Jesus spoke it was by the Holy Spirit’s direction and leading. When he healed or cast out demons , it was by the Holy Spirit. Even his movement from place to place was directed by the Holy Spirit.

Any fruit we bear owes itself to the same Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit indwells us. We are to be Spirit directed, Spirit empowered, Spirit directed people.

b. His rule will be a perfect rule v.3-5

In making this point and the ones to come, one must realize that part of Isaiah prophecy about the Root of Jesse has yet to be fulfilled. As Hebrews 2:8 says “In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him”.

Think of the days of Ahaz: witchcraft, the shutting down of the worship of God, the practice of every kind of evil, the abuse of the poor and needy, the acceptance of bribes by the wicked, a total reliance upon oneself as it pertained to ruling the people. Jesus was in no way like this. When Jesus comes back he will in no way be like this.

Unlike many of the kings who reigned, Jesus did not and does not aid and abet the wicked. Jesus was not and is not open to corruption or brides. Jesus was not and is not subject to misunderstanding or missing out on the finer details that often

accompany people’s circumstances. As the ultimate King, as the Lord of Lords, Jesus- the Root of Jesse, is perfect in righteousness, justice, and holiness. Jesus sees right to the heart of every matter. Jesus knows perfectly what is right and holy, his standards do not waver or change. Under Jesus the righteous are rewarded and the wicked are punished—just as it ought to be now.

c. Under Jesus the world will experience a return to the conditions of Eden v.6-9

Genesis 1-2 describe for us the conditions of Eden. Because of sin, it was all spoilt. When Adam and Eve sinned it didn’t just affect them, it affected the entire created order. This is easily seen. i.e Pit bulls. Animal on people, animal on animal aggression.

The power and effect of the earthly reign of Christ, according to v.6-9, will be such that even the animals behave themselves.

Because of Jesus the earth will experience a return to a near Edenic condition.

Note: Some legitimate debate exists as to when this will occur: i.e After the creation of the new Heavens and new Earth, or during that Revelation 20:1-6 describes as the millennial reign of Christ.

d. A restored Israel led by Christ v.10-16

Did you know that for more than 1500 years Israel did not exist as a nation? Yet it does today because of the word of the Lord.

Here in v.10-16 Isaiah speaks of a restored and united Israel (no more North/South) that will be led by Jesus- here called the Root of Jesse

The first fruits of this restored Israel began in 1948 when Israel was again allowed to form as a nation on her land. More prophecy remains to be fulfilled. (Key texts Romans 9-11, etc)

e. The praise and worship of the LORD 12:1-6

How do you know that a persons work and ministry is successful before the Lord?

People turn from their sinful ways and praise, worship, trust, and acknowledge him.


Today we have explored 2 of the precious names of Jesus

Today we have been introduced to prophecy—some of which has been fulfilled, some of which remains to be.

Today we must also strive to apply what we have learned

1. Have faith in God and realize that his word always comes to pass in his perfect time and way

2. Recognize that just as Jesus bore fruit, we are to bear fruit

A Key to our being fruitful as Christians is the Holy Spirit

Thankfully the same Holy Spirit who led, directed, indwelt, and empowered Jesus is with us.

As Galatians 5:22-25 says “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

A Key to our being fruitful as Christians is to remain faithful and true to Jesus

As Jesus says in John 15:1-8 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit,

while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Stay exclusively faithful to Jesus. Salvation and blessing is in Jesus alone.