O Radix Jesse


The third great “O” is: O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem Gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.

English: O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples; before you kings will shut their mouths, to you the nations will make their prayer: Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.

It reflects the following prophecies and Scripture:

O Root of Jesse…

  • root2bof2bjesse“A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” Isaiah 11:1 Jesse was the father of King David (1 Sam. 16:10–13). David inaugurated a great kingdom, but the greater “David” (Ezek. 34:23–25; Zech. 12:7–10), now only a tender plant (53:2), will rule an incomparably greater kingdom. All that is left of the Davidic dynasty is a stump. The privileged sons of David no less than Assyria are like trees that have been chopped down (Is 10:33, 34). But in spite of this judgement on Judah, the Lord will raise up new leadership from the dynasty of David (Matt. 1:1). Micah had prophesied that the Messiah would be of the house and lineage of David and be born in David’s city, Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). see O Adonai
  • “A record of the origin of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham begot Isaac…” Matthew 1:1–17 and continues on until …and Jacob begot Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ. Matthew emphasizes, right from the beginning, Jesus’ title Christ—the Greek rendering of the Hebrew title Messiah—meaning anointed, in the sense of an anointed king. Jesus is presented first and foremost as the long-awaited Messiah, who was expected to be a descendant and heir of King David, so the genealogy serves the essential purpose of demonstrating this line of descent. Thus, Matthew begins by calling Jesus son of David, indicating his royal origin, and also son of Abraham, indicating that he was a Jew; both are stock phrases, in which son means descendant, calling to mind the promises God made to David and to Abraham.
  • “And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli…” Luke 3:23-38 Luke places his genealogy at the beginning of the public life of Jesus (Luke 3:23-38) and his account ascends from Joseph to Adam or and to God. This genealogy descends from the Davidic line through Nathan, who is an otherwise little-known son of David, mentioned briefly in the Old Testament (1 Chronicles 3:5; but also see Zechariah 12:12). The prophecy of Nathan (2 Samuel 7:12–16) understood as foretelling a son of God who would inherit the throne of his ancestor David and reign forever is quoted in Hebrews (Hebrews 1:5) and strongly alluded to in Luke’s account of the Annunciation (Luke 1:32–35). Likewise, the Psalms (Psalms 89:3-4; Psalms 132:11) record God’s promise to establish the seed of David on his throne forever, while Isaiah (Isaiah 16:5) and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 23:5-6) speak of the coming reign of a righteous king of the house of David. David’s ancestors are also understood as progenitors of the Messiah in several prophecies. Isaiah’s description of the branch or root of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1–10) is cited twice by Paul as a promise of the Christ (Acts 13:23; Romans 15:12). 
  • O-Radix-Jesse-1Concerning the genealogies… God promised to establish the throne of King Solomon over Israel forever, (1 Chronicles 22:9–10) but the promise was contingent upon obeying God’s commandments (1 Chronicles 28:6–7; 2 Chronicles 7:17–18; 1 Kings 9:4–5). Solomon’s failure to do so is explicitly cited as a reason for the subsequent division of his kingdom (1 Kings 11:4–11). Against King Jehoiakim, Jeremiah prophesied, “He shall have no one to sit on the throne of David,” (Jeremiah 36:30–31) and against his son King Jeconiah, “Write this man childless, a man who will not prosper in his days; for no man of his seed will prosper, sitting on the throne of David or ruling again in Judah.”  (Jeremiah 22:24–30) Some see this prophecy as permanently disqualifying Jeconiah from the ancestry of the Messiah (though not necessarily of Joseph) [e.g, Irenaeus, Adversus haereses (“Against Heresies”), p. 3.21.9j].

    To Zerubbabel, God declares through Haggai, “I will make you like my signet ring,” in clear reversal of the prophecy against his grandfather Jeconiah, “though you were a signet ring on my right hand, yet I would pull you off.” (Haggai 2:23 (cf. Jeremiah 22:24) Zerubbabel ruled as governor though not as king, and has been regarded by many as a suitable and likely progenitor of the Messiah. Clearly Matthew said that the blood father (begot) of Joseph was Jacob. Matthew had satisfied the Mosaic Law by showing the male ancestry of Jesus by going through Joseph instead of Mary. Keep in mind that this genealogy shows the legal, or royal, or public record, of descent and not the human descent, hence the inclusion of Jeconiah of Solomon. Luke shows the human descent of Christ through David to be Nathan, and not Solomon; thus avoiding the curse of Jeconiah. This alludes to the possibility that Luke’s genealogy is for a different person other than Joseph i.e. but of Mary. For Mary as the birth-giver of Jesus and a Jewess – it would be through her that the genetic Davidic bloodline would be inherited by Christ. Luke as a physician and writing for Gentiles might wish to emphasise this point, as Matthew would want to emphasise the legal point for the Jews following the Mosaic Law; both concur that Christ was born of Mary, a virgin, betrothed to Joseph.

standing as a sign among the peoples;

  • “On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.” Isaiah 11:10 The prophet makes a further reference to the days of the Messiah and the accession of the Gentiles to His kingdom, which the apostle Paul follows, Rom. 15:12; There shall be a root of Jesse; and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, in him shall the Gentiles trust. Here is the crux of this prophecy, speaking of Christ as the root of Jesse, or a branch out of his roots (Isa. 11:1), and also, a root out of a dry ground, Isa. 53:2. He is the root of David (Rev. 5:5), the root and offspring of David Rev. 22:16.
    crucifixion-silhouette-kent-sorensenHe shall stand, or be set up, for an ensign of the people. When Christ was crucified he was lifted up from the earth, that, as an ensign or a beacon, He might draw the eyes and the hearts of all men upon him, John 12:32. His preaching of the everlasting gospel and the salvation He brings, in which the apostles and their successors as standard-bearers likewise by their ministry display the banner of His love, to allure us to Him (Song 1:4), the banner of His truth, under which we engage in the war against sin and Satan. Christ is the ensign to which the faithful children of God scattered abroad are gathered together (John 11:51), and in Him they meet as the centre of their unity. To him shall the Gentiles seek. We read of Greeks that did so (John 12:21; “We would see Jesus”), when Christ spoke of his being lifted up, to draw all men to Himself.
    His rest shall be glorious. The triumph of the Cross make even His death glorious and His resurrection and His ascension too after which He sits at the right hand of God and in the Church, that Mount Zion of which Christ has said, “This is my rest”, and in which he resides. This, though despised by the world, having upon it the beauty of holiness, is truly glorious, a glorious high throne, Jeremiah 17:12. Both Jews and Gentiles shall be gathered to Him, Isaiah 11:11. As God delivered His people, and gathered them out of all the countries where they were scattered (Ps. 106:47; Jer. 16:15, 16), so He will a second time by the powerful working of the Spirit of grace with the Word. The outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah (Isa. 11:12), the diaspora to whom the apostles’ preached, the twelve tribes that were scattered abroad (Jas. 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:1), shall flock to Christ; and probably more of those scattered Jews were brought into the church, in proportion, than had remained in Israel. Many of the nations, the Gentiles, shall be brought in by the lifting up of the ensign, the Jews were jealous of Christ’s going to the dispersed among the Gentiles and of His teaching the Gentiles, John 7:35.
  • “And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.” Romans 15:12. That they should believe in Christ (Rom. 15:12), quoted from Isa. 11:10; where observe, First, The revelation of Christ as the Gentiles’ king. He is here called the root of Jesse, that is, such a branch from the family of David as is the very life and strength of the family: compare Isa. 11:1. Christ was David’s Lord (as God), and yet withal He was the Son of David (Matthew 1:1–17; Luke 3:23-38; Matt. 22:45), for he was the root and offspring of David, Rev. 22:16. Christ, as God, was David’s root; Christ, as man, was David’s offspring.—And he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles. When Christ rose from the dead, when He ascended on high, it was to reign over the Gentiles. Secondly, The recourse of the Gentiles to Him: In Him shall the Gentiles trust. Faith is the soul’s confidence in Christ and dependence on Him. The method of faith is first to seek Christ for a Saviour; and, finding Him able and willing to save, then to trust in Him.

before you kings will shut their mouths, to you the nations will make their prayer:

  • “Thus saith the Lord, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God.” Isaiah 45:14 Sabeans i.e. descendants of Seba (Gen. 10:7); Africans (Isa. 43:3). They were “men of stature,” and engaged in merchandise (Isa. 45:14). Their conversion to the Lord was predicted (Ps. 72:10). The nations will come to worship the one God (Zech. 8:23; Eph. 3:6). Encouragement given to the believing Jews, who trusted in God and continued instant in prayer, assuring them that God would in due time accomplish this work by the hand of Cyrus, Isa. 45:11-15. A challenge given to the worshippers of idols and their doom read, and satisfaction given to the worshippers of the true God and their comfort secured, with an eye to the Mediator, who is made of God to us both righteousness and sanctification, Isa. 45:16-25. And here, as in many other parts of this prophecy, there is much of Christ and of gospel grace.
  • 9732976“So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.” Isaiah 52:15 Many nations shall be the better for Him, for he shall sprinkle them, and not the Jews only; the blood of sprinkling shall be applied to their consciences, to purify them. He suffered, and died, and so sprinkled many nations; for in His death there was a fountain opened, Zech. 13:1. He shall sprinkle many nations by his heavenly doctrine, which shall drop as the rain and distil as the dew Isaiah 45:8 Drop down dew, you heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just: let the earth be opened and bud forth a Saviour.” Moses’s did so only on one nation (Deut. 32:2), but Christ’s on many nations. He shall do it by baptism, which is the washing of the body with pure water, Heb. 10:22. So that this promise had its accomplishment when Christ sent His apostles to disciple all nations, by baptizing or sprinkling them. As conceived by Christ, the Great Commission linked the missionary activity of the Church with that of Christ Himself (John 14:12). As the first and greatest missionary (Heb 3:1), He came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). The church’s mission was to be patterned after His (John 20:21). As His ministry included teaching, preaching and healing (Matt 4:23), so would theirs (Acts 4:2; 5:12-16).
    The great ones of the nation shall show Him respect: they shall with great humility and reverence receive His oracles and laws, as those who, when they heard Job’s wisdom, after his speech spoke not again, Job 29:9, 22. Kings shall see and arise, Isa. 49:7.
    The mystery which was kept secret from the beginning of the world shall by Him be made known to all nations as the apostle writes, “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith” Romans 16:25, 26. The Gospel brings to light things new and unheard of, which will awaken the attention and engage the reverence of kings and kingdoms. This is applied to the preaching of the Gospel in the Gentile world, Romans 15:21. Much had been said in the Old Testament concerning the Messiah; much had been told them, and they had heard it and rejected it (Nehemiah 9:20, 30; Micah 3:8; Zechariah 7:12; Matthew 23:34); Christ disappointed the expectations of those who looked for a Messiah according to their fancies, but outdid theirs who looked for such a Messiah as was promised (Isaiah 44:24-28; Isaiah 46:8-11).

Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.

  • The prayer of the Church, of those who through obedience have received faith from God, echoing the cry of God’s faithful people throughout the centuries, imploring the Messiah “to come” as the prophets foretold and as He revealed Himself to be. That, beholding the Cross, His ensign, as many as may be saved in this world, may be through baptism and share eternity with Him when He comes again at the end of all ages.

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