Real Christmas (Part 8): Jesus is an Off-shoot

NetserreThe author and prophet Isaiah enjoyed playing with words. He does it plain and simple for all to see. But because we read the Bible in something other than Hebrew, we miss it.

Isaiah 11:1 says, A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

This is prophetic, talking about the coming Messiah. Jesus fulfilled this verse, and it is one of the many ways we know without a doubt he is the Son of God.

The Hebrew word for branch is Netser. But it is more than a branch – it is an offshoot from the base of the tree. It is a new growth, one that brings hope, and new life.

Actually, today’s picture is of a netser from the Mount of Olives.

Matthew 2:23 says, “… and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene”.

There was a town in Galilee named Nazareth. It is where Jesus grew up. So, just like a Bostonian from Boston, or a New Yorker from New York, people from there were called Nazarenes.

When the scriptures say Jesus was a Nazarene, it is because he was from Nazareth. He was the “Netser” from “Nazaret”. However, it also is saying that Jesus is an offshoot – the offshoot – of God coming to us in human form!

Jesus came to offer hope, new life, and a new way of doing things. The Jewish kings before him were gone, and at the time Roman rule was the authority of the day. This offshoot is for a new kingdom, and a new way of doing things.

As we approach January 1, let’s remember the hope and new life we have in Christ. Let’s live accordingly as we grow in the Lord this coming year!

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