Saturday, December 24, 2016

[Matt's Messages] “The Root of Jesse”

“The Root of Jesse”
Christmas Eve Candlelighting Service
A Shoot from the Stump of Jesse
December 24, 2016 :: Isaiah 11

Advent means “coming.”  Christmas is coming...tomorrow!

Jesus has come and is coming again.

For the entire season of Advent, we have been centering on the prophecy of the Messiah in Isaiah chapter 11.  Matt Modzel read the whole thing for us just a few minutes ago. It’s really amazing.

Isaiah 11:1 has been our theme for the whole month of Advent, and we’ve been memorizing it together.

Let’s say it out loud.

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.”

On Wednesday night, I told the kids at our Family Bible Night Christmas Program that Isaiah 11 is kind of like an Old Testament Ultrasound of Baby Jesus.

It’s kind of grainy and shadowy and doesn’t look quite like a real baby, but it’s a sneak peak at the glory of what is to come.

Catch this: Isaiah 11 was written over 700 years before Jesus was born.

And it gives us an ultrasoundic picture, a sneak peak of the coming of Jesus Christ.

On the First Sunday of Advent, Bill and Shasta and Carter and Jocelyn lit our first candle and called it a “Candle of Persistent Promise.”

Isaiah's ultrasound prophecy anticipates a time when all of the kings of Israel have been cut down to size. As kings, they were all disappointing and never lived up to their potential.

These kings had just one job and they failed at it. #KingFail. They did not lead their nation into covenant faithfulness, and their people suffered for it. David's royal dynasty had declined until it was almost as good as dead.

It was just a dead old stump.

But in this bleak time, God was still at work. He was still keeping His promises to His people. The promises that He had made to Jesse’s son, David.

God promised to bring a powerful king out of humble origins. A tiny shoot will poke up from the stump of Jesse and then grow into a mighty tree. From modest roots, a magnificent Branch will one day bear flourishing fruit.

I know.

Sometimes it seems as though God's promises will never come to pass.  But they will. His promises are persistent, and so should be our faith.

On the second Sunday of Advent, we had a sister act light "A Candle of Spiritual Power.” Carolyn, Jamie, and Victoria told us how the ultrasound of Isaiah 11 teaches that the Spirit of the LORD will rest on the coming Messiah in an unprecedented way.

And we know Who this Shoot is going to be.

It’s Jesus! He’s the reason we are here tonight.

And He was given the Spirit without measure. Think about that!

And that means that His coming rule and reign will be unimaginably glorious.

Because of the unlimited Spiritual Power resting on Him, His Kingdom will be perfect.

Perfect justice.

Wally & Nesta lit our third candle and named it “A Candle of Faultless Justice.”

The ultrasound of Isaiah 11 says “[The Shoot of Jesse] will not judge(only) by what He sees with His eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears (alone).” He will judge with righteousness.

In fact, Isaiah says, “Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around His waist.”

This ultrasound tells us what kind of clothes the baby will wear!

On that first Christmas night, he was swaddled in cloths, but when He rules and reigns, “Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around His waist.”

Think about what that means.

King Jesus will never blunder, or bungle, or mishandle any situation. He will always choose what is right, and just, and righteous. He will never be fooled or misguided or duped. He will never be confused, befuddled, or confounded.

How happy will His people be to live in an eternal kingdom with perfect justice!

And perfect peace.

Maria and her girls lit our fourth candle and said that it was "A Candle of Perfect Peace.”

When the Messiah reigns, there will be absolutely no conflict, no battles, no hostilities, no war. Everything will change–even the laws of nature. Because peace will be everywhere!

An infant can play at the hole of the cobra and a young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.  “Go play with the snakes, little guy, it’s perfectly safe!”

There will be nothing out there to harm or destroy God’s people!

Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

It hasn’t happened yet.

We live in the time between the two advents.

Jesus has come and He’s coming again.

And we live in between.

So we know all of this about Who Jesus is and why He was born, but we are still waiting for His kingdom to come on Earth as it is in heaven.

But there is coming a day when the Lord Jesus will live up to every detail of His Isaiah 11 ultrasound!

One more thing to see here. It’s from v.10, and I promised to talk about it tonight.

Listen to verse 10.

“In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.”

This candle is the candle of the “Root of Jesse.”

Notice that?  It doesn’t say “shoot” here. It says “root.”

Verse 1 says that Jesus will be a shoot sticking up out of the stump of Jesse.

But verse 10 says something different and mind-bending.

This ultrasound says that the Baby will not just be a result...but a cause!

His own cause?!

He will be the Root of Jesse.

Not just the offspring, but the source.

Not just the shoot but the root!

How can that be?

Only one way that can be. And that is if this little baby is also God the Son come in the flesh.

Hunter read Micah 5:2 earlier in the service.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

The Lord Jesus stumped the Pharisees with the question, “If King David calls the Messiah ‘Lord’ in Psalm 110, then how can he also be David’s son?

How can He be both source and offspring?

Only if He is also God.

On the very last page of the Bible, Jesus reminds us Who He is, and He alludes to Isaiah 11.

Revelation chapter 22, verse 16 says, “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

He is both Root and Shoot.

He is Alpha and Omega.

He is God in the Flesh the Messiah.

And His reign and rule will be glorious.

Listen again to verse 10 of the Ultrasound of Isaiah 11.

“In that day [at the second advent] the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest [His eternal kingdom] will be glorious.”

For the Root and Shoot of Jesse Reigns!

How do we respond?


That’s who was born in Bethlehem that first Christmas.

Jesus Christ.

If you want to live in the kingdom that Isaiah 11 describes, you have to repent and become a faith-follower of the Root and Shoot of Jesse.

He is the way, the truth, and life.

Put your faith in Him alone.

Turn from your sins and trust in what He did for you on the Cross.


I know.

It know it’s hard to live in between Jesus’ first coming and His second coming.

The world we live in now is fundamentally broken.

We see it every day in every story on the news.


But one day soon this ultrasound will be in living color.

And it will be like nothing ever seen or heard.

“In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.”


Because a person who can be both Root and Shoot deserves our wonder and our marveling and our delight in Who He is and will be forever.

O Come, Let Us Adore Him, Christ the King!