Summary: This sermon is about the prophecy about Jesus birth, coming from the root of Jesse, and that he brought hope to the Gentiles! So to we have a root of hope in Jesus in our time!

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(secondary text: Romans 15:9-12)

When a member of my congregation, 18 year old Heidi was thrown from a car back in May, and suffered a head injury it was a real miracle that she recovered and was soon in rehab at Crystus Santa Rosa. She was learning to walk again through rehab and therapy and a young 16 year old girl named Ashley was brought to Crystus for rehab. She had suffered a similar injury in an accident and she wasn’t talking or walking.

When Heidi heard about Ashley's condition, she asked her mother to wheel her in to Ashley’s room. They asked Ashley's parents if Heidi could speak to her, and her parents stood watching as the wheeled Heidi to Ashley's bedside. At her bedside she stood up with every ounce of her own strength and then said to Ashley “When I came here I wasn’t talking or walking either”. What heidi did, I believe is give Ashley, and her parents “hope!” Heidi planted a seed of hope into their lives! Before long, Heidi and Ashley were making laps around the hallway together!

Recent reports are being made, and apparently confirmed by Scientist Dr. Deborah Mash of the University of Miami, about something called Ibogaine. Actually, Ibogaine is a hallucinogen that come from the root of a S. African plant. As reported by Greg Lyon KRON News 4 this “root of hope” could actually provide a treatment that cures many, if not all forms of “addiction”. (1) Obviously the drug is still illegal in the United States and tests are still being conducted, but here is the question “What if Ibogaine can cure addictions?”

Just the news about it is a “root of hope”. Hope that there might be a cure for drug addiction. Hope there could be a cure for alcohol addiction. A root of hope; a seed of hope that shopping addictions; gambling addictions; sexual addictions all could possibly – and I mean possibly, be cured if Ibogaine prove safe and substantive for a treatment and eventually approved for such!

A saying, quoted as a French Proverb is “Hope is the dream of a soul awake!”(2)

I looked at about ninety-one prophecies about Jesus! These Old testament Scriptures all fore-tell something about the coming Messiah, about the coming of Christ!

• About the Messiah’s birthplace;

• That he would be a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

• A descendant of King David

• That he would be worshipped by shepherds

• There are prophecies about his death

• That he would be declared the son of God (just to name a few prophecies)

But one of the prophecies about Jesus’ birth origin caught my attention – “that a shoot will come up out of the stump of Jesse” (Is 11 vs 1), that out of the “root of Jesse” (vs 10) “Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; and His resting place will be glorious”. Romans 15:12 captures the essence of that prophecy “There shall come the root of Jesse, and He who arises to rule over the Gentiles, in Him shall the Gentiles Hope”. When I read that Scripture, long before I had even heard of Ibogaine, the thought that struck my mind was that Jesus was a “root of Hope!”

Charles L. Allen says that “When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you are slamming the door in the face of God.”

Many of the Old Testament Prophets appeared at a time when the people needed to hear a Word from God, maybe even a voice of confrontation from God, and a Word from God but a foretelling of the future with God. Jeremiah foretold about the destruction that would happen at the hands of the Babylonians and that they would be taken into captivity. However he also told them the days of that captivity would be numbered and they would return home to the promised land. He challenged the people, though most rejected him and persecuted him to return to the ways of God.

Isaiah was a Prophetic voice in 8th century BC (2,700 years ago) He warned “The land will be completely laid waste and totally plundered. The LORD has spoken this word." (Isaiah 24:3). Isaiah therefore warns the people of Israel to turn back to Yahweh. Isaiah was sensitive to the common people's problems and was very outspoken regarding their treatment by the aristocracy.” (Wikipedia)

The Prophet Joel lived somewhere between the 9th and 5th Century B.C. and his real significance comes when Peter quotes him at Pentecost: “"I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions". His was a message of hope to the people that better days are coming in which the work of God will be clearly visible; the hand of God at work in men and women.

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