Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

TTE Advent Calendar Day Seventeen – December 17th

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TTE Advent Calendar Day Seventeen -December 17th

Thank you for reading our seventeenth installment of our advent series, please check out our advent page for more articles in this series.

Today we look at the prophecy that the messiah would be a Nazarene. We read this is the book of Isaiah chapter 11…

Isaiah 11:1 (ESV) There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. 2 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. 3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, 4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. 5 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

What a picture of the coming messiah! That he came from the stump of Jesse (The end of Isaiah 10 talks about the tribes being shewn down) so this stump of Jesse would birth Israel’s greatest human king, the man known historically as King David.

I love this prophesy as it honors David’s father and shows humility, had he started with David many more would have taken notice, but he grew that branch out of Jesse and gave honor to him.

I love the prophetic implications as the line of David had not been on the throne of Israel for at 600 years at that point, wouldn’t you say that was a dead stump? Who else but God could spring life in something that was considered dead? And to give it the life that is life – the Messiah!

Jesus the Nazarene

Let’s look at the gospel of Matthew chapter twenty three:

Matthew 2:23 (ESV) And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.

Nazareth was not a great place to be from, as humble as coming from the stump of Jesse was, if you were from Nazareth you were pre judged. Let’s look at this in scripture in the Gospel of John:

John 1:43 (ESV) The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

The answer from Philip was typical of the attitude of that day, people from Nazareth were not regarded well, were not seen as valuable. The messiah who would be humble and rejected by the very people that he came to save. Interestingly the Hebrew word translated Branch sounds like “Nazir” (neser).

How does this make him a Nazarene?

The honest answer, because Jesus said it does! Let’s look at Paul talking about his conversion in Acts twenty two:

Acts 22: (ESV) 3 I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of Gamaliel according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as all of you are this day. 4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women, 5 as the high priest and the whole council of elders can bear me witness. From them I received letters to the brothers, and I journeyed toward Damascus to take those also who were there and bring them in bonds to Jerusalem to be punished. 6 “As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me. 7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ 8 And I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’

So we have it confirmed from Jesus, he was Jesus of Nazareth. We also read in Acts twenty four in Tertullus accusations against Paul to Felix:

Acts 24:5 (ESV) For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:

So we see quite clearly that the term Nazarene was prophesied, used for Jesus and his followers. The term Christian came much later, Jesus in many ways came and redeemed the name of the Nazarene because from humble roots he was born into humble surroundings into an area that was much maligned and not regarded as anything.

To the scoffer this would be regarded as foolish, however Paul writes about things such as this in his first letter to the Corinthian church, which reads:

1 Corinthians 1:27 (ESV) But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

Still think you are too small and insignificant to be used by God? He allowed his son to come from an area that was humble, live a life that was perfect, allowed him to die in the cruelest way possible and raised him to life three days later to buy your freedom. You are worth that much to God.

Jesus went through all this so we can go to heaven, although that decision is ours, we have to choose to follow Jesus. My hope is that these articles help and please contact me if you need to discuss further.

God bless you one and all, I thank you for reading this article. Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads you too.
TGBTG
TTE

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