Summary: An exploration of the meaning of the 2 names of Jesus revealed in Isaiah 11-12
The Branch and The Root of Jesse
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.