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, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. ~Isaiah 11:1-2
The generational family lines that made way for the birth of Christ would begin in the person of Jesse. Just as the prophesy taught. His line ran through over 40 generations (according to the the gospel of Luke). Not one forefather was an accident in paving the way for Jesus, no matter how corrupt they may have been.
The word branch in this verse literally means “dead stump”. The stump is considered dead due to the sin that invaded Jesse (father of David’s) kingly line. Yet a living branch was still promised by God to come from this family (Jeremiah 33:17).
But this ancient blood line would come to a screeching halt with Joseph. He was a Godly man who was betrothed to a young woman named Mary. The one with whom the Lord chose to be the mother of the coming king. So she would become pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Not by Joseph. And yet the prophesied genealogy from Jesse came through Joseph.
How is this so?
Joseph demonstrated his godliness when after being visited by an angel he took in Mary and called Jesus his own Son. He acted in the goodness of God when he adopted that little baby boy in faith that the plans of the Lord were indeed better than his, no matter how insane they may have seemed. Joseph proved to the world the legitimacy of adoption. And that the bonds of family have little to do with blood and a lot to do with spiritual covenant and the fear of the Lord.
And so there He was, the king of the world, needing to be grafted into a heritage of faith. As the old prophesy declared, the Christ would come and give life and fruit to old roots.
He would come in the most humble fashion possible. In need of an earthly daddy. He would reveal Himself to the most modest of people first, and then spend His ministry with the lowly. Jesus would take the world by storm in the most quiet and underwhelming way.
But although His incarnation started at conception and he had to experience life in the womb and the journey of labor, as well as the awkward voyage from baby to adult. Jesus was still the king that would establish his throne forever. Only a king that great could have a birth story as magnificently simple as His.
Cling to Him this Christmas Eve. Await His return again. And give thanks for His majesty.
Prophesy was fulfilled. And soon it will be again.