The Stump of Jesse

Friends in the Lord, as we begin this Advent season, Mother Church gives us to read from Isaiah the prophet. ‘On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from it’s roots a bud shall blossom, and the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him.’
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Isaiah is a remarkable book, that in so many ways he foretells the coming Messiah, Jesus. Our Lord will be a descendent in the line of David, whose father was Jesse. So it DID come to pass, that a ‘shoot’ sprouted from the stump of Jesse.
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At the time of Isaiah’s writing, this passage had a reference to the fact that Assyria had caused a massive, wide-ranging destruction by it’s war-machine, leveling the entire world they knew. All that remained was Jerusalem, the ‘stump;’ this ‘stump,’ Jerusalem, was the one sign of life that survived the near-total destruction, bringing hope to the world.
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But the pen of Isaiah was guided by the Holy Spirit, and whether Isaiah knew it or not, he was also writing a prophecy of a coming Savior, who would come forth from this ‘stump,’ the line of David.
This is the 3rd Emmanuel prophecy, and it tells us some things about the coming Savior. He will have exceptional qualities, thanks to the Holy Spirit who will descend upon him.
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Here we find the list of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit; Jesus will have the fullness of the Holy Spirit’s Gifts, and as we know, he will in turn impart these Gifts on us when we become his disciples.
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The Hebrew version of Isaiah lists only 6 Gifts, but the Greek Septuagint which was used by the early Church lists the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit. (The Septuagint divides the Gift of Fear into two: Piety and Fear of the Lord)
Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord.
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The Messiah who will be born will usher in a new era of peace. The Kingdom of the Christ will have the harmony that was first seen in the Garden of Eden, in paradise, which was broken by the wound of sin. Even violence in the animal world will disappear. ‘The wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid.’ Such a peace, is the Kingdom of Christ, this is the harmony that we seek, and will find in heaven.
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I once asked the school children, ‘What kind of world would it be if everyone lived the way Jesus wanted us to: No anger or hatred, no hurting or lies; only goodness and kindness everywhere?’ One child said: ‘it would be paradise.’
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And that is what this Savior wants to bring us to.

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