Read: Isaiah 11:1-11
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him. (vv. 1-2)
The Messiah is here pictured as coming from the line of Jesse rather than from King David himself. The reason for bypassing the glories of David’s kingship may be to stress the humble birth of Jesus. The essential nature of the Messiah’s kingship is that upon him rests the Spirit of the Lord, the source of wisdom, knowledge, understanding and power. The defining qualities of his reign are righteousness, expressed in concern and justice for the needy and the poor. Faithfulness graces his life like a sash. The ultimate result of the Messiah’s reign is universal peace, the shalom symbolized beautifully in verses 6-9.
Verses 9 and 10 present the Messiah as a banner. Around him rally both the nations of the world and a contingent of Jews scattered among surrounding nations. In Isaiah’s writings this “remnant” refers to Jewish people who went into exile, but who trust and obey God when they return.
What a marvelous unity people from diverse nations and cultures experience in the Messiah. Paul builds on this truth in his remarkable statement, Ephesians 2:11-18, “Jesus is our peace, for he broke the dividing wall of hostility between Jew and Gentile, reconciling both to God.” —Gordon Van Wylen
As you pray, thank God for sending Jesus, the Messiah. Consider his wall-breaking message of love and peace in your own life.
About the Author
Gordon Van Wylen served as the Dean of the Engineering School at the University of Michigan, and was the President Emeritus of Hope College. Dr. Van Wylen died in 2020.