My first grandchild will be born in the spring. I can’t wait to see what side of the family he resembles and which family traits are passed on to him. I really hope its the good ones! I’ve wondered if he will have my son’s wicked sense of humor or his mother’s lovely singing voice. But far and above all the things I have thought, hoped, and dreamed, I want him to know his heavenly Father. I want him to resemble Him in the way he acts and treats others.
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him, the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.” Isaiah 11:1-10
Jesse was the father of David, the Israelites’ beloved warrior king. From his lineage, a new genealogical line of the family would emerge. The characteristics of this Spirit anointed Branch would be humility and righteousness. This child to be born will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” (Isaiah 9:6,7).
Like any expectant mother, I feel certain Mary had many hopes and dreams for her baby boy. His conception had been far from normal (Luke 1:26-38). And following his birth, shepherds alerted by the heavenly host came to see the Christ child lying in a manger (Luke 2:11,12). The cosmic display also brought men from afar to see this king to whom the stars pointed. These men honored her child with costly gifts (Matthew 2:1,9-11). On his circumcision day, a man named Simeon praised God when he saw the baby Jesus because God had allowed him to see the Lord’s Christ before he died; “a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”( Luke 221-32). That day, Jesus’ earthly parents also encountered the prophetess Anna who praised God and spoke about Jesus “to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:38). All of these wonderfully confusing and totally amazing statements made about their son prompted Mary to treasure and ponder them in her heart (Luke 2:19) and marvel at what was said about him (Luke 2:33).
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Hebrews 1:3
Maybe Jesus shared a physical resemblance to his mother but he definitely had his Father’s character. In Luke 2:40, Luke writes that Jesus “grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.” Jesus came from the Father full of grace and truth (John 1:14); the Light come into the world, begotten by the Father and not created like us (John 3:16,19).
My family had big hopes and dreams for me just as I have for my little grandson. But our heavenly Father has even bigger ones. He even knew us before we were born (Psalm 139). I don’t know about you but I’m overwhelmed when I meditate on that fact. Paul writes that “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ,” (Romans 8:16,17). Through Jesus the Righteous Branch, I am the wild grafted olive shoot (Romans 11:17) part of his family and the Father’s “workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for [me] to do” (Ephesians 2:10). I wonder what traits I have that resemble my heavenly Father? Do I reveal that I belong to Him? Do I bear any resemblance to His family tree? I hope so. I pray my little grandson will resemble his Father too.