Isaiah 11:1-10; Hebrews 11:31; Ruth 1:6-18

O come, thou Rod of Jesse, free 
thine own from Satan's tyranny;
from depths of hell thy people save, 
and give them victory o'er the grave.

Our third reference, Rod of Jesse, come from Isaiah 11:1, "There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit." This prophecy was perfectly fulfilled with the birth of Christ, who came from the kingly line of David, the son of Jesse. I love this title, for even a quick glance at Jesus' family tree reveals the grace of God. In Matthew 1 we have a window into Jesus' ancestry, and there we find a colorful cast of characters: Rahab, Ruth, David, and Bathsheba to name a few. 

Rahab was the Gentile prostitute who risked her life to harbor Joshua's two spies in Jericho (Joshua 2:1-21). Elsewhere she is commended for her faith in the God of Israel and for righteous deeds (Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25). Her inclusion in the ancestry of the Messiah reveals God's grace and the fact that all are welcomed; all have dignity and are worthy of redemption in the family of God.

Ruth was the great-grandmother of King David. She was a Moabite (a foreigner) who, after losing her husband and father-in-law, was determined to stay with her mother-in-law Naomi. At a pivotal moment in her life, she proclaimed to Naomi: "Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God" (Ruth 1:16). Ruth exemplified great faith in staying with Naomi and in being willing to have Naomi's God become her God. 

This redemptive story ends with the brief mention and foreshadowing of David, Israel's greatest king. Though David was a man after God's own heart, he fell into sin in his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba. Even so, God remained faithful throughout David's life.

Jesus said, "I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners" (Mark 2:17). The Rod of Jesse came to free us from "Satan's tyranny" and the very "depths of hell." From a heritage of prostitutes, foreigners, and adulterers, Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. This is amazing grace!


1. Read Isaiah 11:1-10. How is the "Rod of Jesse," this "Branch" described (vss. 2-5)? How is his kingdom described (vss. 6-10)? How does this bring you hope?
2. When we read the stories of Rahab, Ruth, and David we see their faith and their shortcomings. What is revealed about God, that he sent his Son to come from this heritage?
3. What does the word "grace" mean to you? How is grace revealed in Jesus' ancestry?
4. Read Isaiah 11:3-4 again. Think about Jesus' life. How did he fulfill these descriptions?


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