|Image: Peggy_Marco / Pixabay.com|
TO CHEW ON: "'For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.'" Zechariah 3:8
As the writer of my Bible's introductory notes on Zechariah promises, we find pictures of Messiah (Jesus) in this book. In our reading today He is called "BRANCH."
Other prophetic references to Messiah by this name show us that as the Branch:
- He would be a descendant or branch of Jesse (King David's father) - Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 25:5; 33:15. (Following this lineage and going back even father than Jesse is the source of the "Jesse Tree" commemorations we often see and take part in during Advent.)
- He is "beautiful and glorious" - Isaiah 4:2.
- He is a fair king and a righteous judge - Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15.
- His rule brings peace and cooperation to and between the civil and religious realms (He is called both King and Priest) - Zechariah 6:12,13.
This picture of Jesus as the fulfillment of the Messianic Branch prophecy is interesting, but does it have any useful application to our lives? I think it does.
A branch is a living part of nature. As a healthy appendage of a tree, shrub or vine it grows, leafs out, forms buds that open into flowers and bear fruit.
When Jesus is referred to as the branch, we are reminded of our connection to Him. Paul talks of that in Romans 11 where he refers to Israel as an olive tree. Some branches have been broken off because of their unbelief and other branches (Gentile ones) were grafted in. Indeed, the branches of ethnic Israel are also able to be reattached (Romans 11:11-24). In other words, regardless of our nationality, we can be attached to Jesus the Branch.
Branch imagery also reminds us of the fruitfulness that comes as a result of our union with Jesus. There is a beautiful description of it in John 15. There as we, secondary branches, stay attached to Jesus the main branch ("true vine") we bear fruit, are guaranteed answered prayers, and glorify the Father (John 15:1-8).
How wonderful to be a part of this family tree!
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the beautiful picture of Jesus as the main Branch and me attached to Him. May the sap flow freely between us today. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.