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A Shoot Out of Jesse

In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus regularly confronted the leaders of the Israelite nation as being hypocrites and having hearts far from God (Matt. 15:7-9). Jesus warned His disciples to “Let them alone,” as the Pharisees and scribes were blind guides (Matt. 15:14). The Lord also used an interesting analogy to describe the leader’s future judgment, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted” (Matt. 15:13). This idea of being planted or uprooted is seen in the Old and New Testaments.

In 2 Chronicles 7:19-20, God warned Israel that if they forsook His commandments and worshiped idols, that He would uproot them from His land—which eventually came to pass. Yet, Isaiah prophesied about seven hundred years before Jesus that there would be a future time of eternal restoration for Israel. In this glorious era the Lord says, “Then all your people will be righteous; they will possess the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of My hands” (Isa. 60:21, italics mine). Someday the Lord will make Israel blameless and sow them in their land forever!

"The branch of my planting, the work of My hands”

In Isaiah 11:1, the prophet also spoke of a “Branch” from the stem of Jesse, referring to Christ coming as King in the lineage of David. Isaiah noted that “from his roots [He] will bear fruit.” Failing to bear fruit as the Father’s planting was the very thing for which Jesus chided the Jewish leaders. The leaders were like a fig tree in which one expects to find fruit, but none was to be found. But Christ as the Father’s planting, as the Branch of the Lord, would bear much fruit. We, as Christ’s body filled with His Spirit are to be His fruit bearers.

The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 11:19 that as Gentiles we have been grafted into the family tree of God. Jesus calls us to abide in Him as the Vine saying, “In this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples” (John 15:8). To abide in Christ is to allow His Word to live in our hearts—keeping His commandments, the chief of which is loving Him with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves (Matt. 22:36-39). Not as uprooted, but as the Lord’s planting, let us produce a harvest of righteousness for the Father’s glory!

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