The Gospel Came to You: A Righteous Branch

By Mike Pettengill, Dec 6, 2018

The following is an excerpt from The Gospel Came to You: Daily Reflections for Advent entitled "Righteous Branch."  

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.”
- Jeremiah 23:5

The branch of a tree bears its fruit and sustains the life of the tree. The term branch holds great significance throughout the Bible. The term is used literally, symbolically and metaphorically over 100 times in Scripture. The branch referred to in this passage will ultimately bear fruit which will unite God with his people forever.

We understand Jeremiah’s prophecy to be of the Messiah who is called the branch. Here the anticipated Messiah is called the righteous branch, not only because he himself was righteous, but because he will make his people righteous. The author is holding out hope that the remnant of the flock will be re-gathered, and God will put a new and righteous king on David’s throne.

The promises contained in the Old Testament hinge on the coming of the Messiah who would rule as king from the line of David. It was promised that he would conquer the enemies of God’s people and bring righteousness and peace for all eternity. The Messiah would usher in all of God’s promises.

The followers of Christ have great assurance God has honored his covenant with David and Jesus is the righteous Branch which grafts believers into a relationship with the Creator. Jesus is the foretold Messiah. Jeremiah, who served as both a priest and prophet, foretold of the coming Messiah nearly six centuries before the birth of Jesus. Two thousand years later Christians gain great assurance in knowing it is our Lord who fulfilled the prophecy and reigns today as King.

“‘He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’”
- Luke 1:32-33

“How many observe Christ's birthday! How few, his precepts! O! 'tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments.” - Benjamin Franklin

PRAY: Thank you God for establishing prophecy of the Messiah and thousands of years later fulfilling that prophecy with the arrival of your son, Jesus. Thank you for connecting your son to the royal and priestly lineage of Israel and thus adding us, his disciples, into the heredity of your elect people.

Mike Pettengill started writing The Gospel Came to You: Daily Reflections for Advent while serving as a missionary in Honduras and completed the writing while serving Jesus in Equatorial Guinea. Today Mike serves as MTW's West Coast hub director. 

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