A) The Jesse-tree will be the perfect king: full of wise knowledge, righteous justice and gracious faithfulness (Isa 11:1-10, Matt 2:1-2)

Last week we studied prophecy from the prophet Isaiah who lived from 739-686 BC. This week we read Isaiah 11. What will come forth the stump of Jesse and what will happen to him? Why is this important for the whole world? (v 1-5)

From Isaiah 11:1-5, we learn that a branch will come forth from Jesse. It was described as starting with the shoot/stump, and then this shoot will have branches and it will bear fruit. This was exactly what came from Jesse and his line. We also know that the son of Jesse will be made king of Israel - David. The people of Israel asked for a king and God gave them David.

But it did not end with David. There is a greater 'David' yet to come, and unlike any other that has come to far and yet to bear fruit. He will have the spirit of the Lord on him, he has wisdom, understanding, might of The Lord and also fear of The Lord. He is important for the whole world because He comes with righteousness to judge and is unlike any being of this world. It also doesn't seem familiar to have such a setting, nor is it familiar to have such a wise and perfect king and to have complete justice.

In Isa 11:6-10, the prophecy describes a 'utopia' in this worldwide kingdom. This is completely unfamiliar to us. We think it is perfectly natural for these 2 animals (wolf and lamb, leopard and young goat, calf and lion, cow and bear) to hurt each other. But for children of man to play before these animals and not be hurt by them can only happen in the kingdom of God. In God's kingdom, all will know God and to create peace and harmony which we feel is unnatural in this world.

In the New Testament, in Matt 2:1-2, it was described for us that the wise men from the East came to look for Jesus ("king of the Jews"). They were not part of God's people as they came from outside. But what does this mean for us? The wise men's journey is not in their respective culture or religion. These wise men are kings in their land. It is incredible that kings/noble people will travel so far and bring treasures to worship Jesus. The wise men gives us lessons on how to approach Christ - that we should approach him in worship.

 

B) The Jesse-tree will have kings who adore Him, and kings who hate Him (Matt 2:3-10)

At the news of this king, the royal astrologers were troubled and Herod naturally felt threatened that another king was coming (v3-4).

We see here (v5-8) also that when the chief priests and scribes investigate 'the Christ' (Promised One), they read Micah 5:2 which was written most likely in the mid 5th century BC. This tells us that the OT was readily available at the time, and more importantly, there were regularly read and studied by people who constantly looked for Christ. 

However, unlike Herod and his subjects, the wise men responded 'exceedingly with great joy'. This was a sharp contrast -- Herod wanted all the babies killed, the wise men rejoiced greatly and travelled from afar. In the same way, people continue to respond to Christ in two ways -- rejecting him outrightly or to rejoice greatly.  For us as Christians, what does adoring or rejoicing in Christ look like for us today? Christ is not a convenience! He is always necessary.

 

C) The Jesse-tree will be God- worshiped by all nations(Matt2:11-12 c.f.Isa 60:6, John 19:39)

The wise men fell down and worshiped the child in their great joy (v 11-12). But what made them do so? The wise men would be the ones to have read the OT about the coming of Christ (c.f. Isa 60:1-6). The prophecy also says that all the nations are coming to this child,and they will all bring gold and frankincense. These gifts were significant gifts and they tell us that this child will be a king (gold), a priest (frankincense) and that he would die (myrrh).

From these we see, that Jesus is a Christmas tree. How so? Jesus came to fulfil all the OT said he would do. He hailed from the line of Jesse and David. God' promises is the root for the tree, and the star is Christ. Ultimately too, the tree is also where Christ was crucified on the cross for us to lead us back to God.