The Branch

December 5, 2015
by Lori Ciccanti

Zechariah 6:12 – Tell him this is what the Lord Almighty says: "Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord." (NIV)

Isaiah 11:1 – A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. (NIV)

Jeremiah 23:5 – "The days are coming," declares the Lord, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land." (NIV)

A few years ago, I took a class on the subject of genealogy. Written in my notes was the suggestion that the holiday season provides a good opportunity to dive into family history. For example, round-the-dinner-table gatherings at Christmastime spur storytelling. Storytelling conveys exactly what we need to begin in genealogy: a firsthand recounting of names, places, and experiences.

Interestingly, the Israelites and other Semitic peoples used the term "The Branch" in a genealogical sense, meaning that a certain person belongs to or descends from a particular family line. In the Old Testament, it is a title referring to the Messiah. The word in Hebrew is "semah" which means "sprout, growth, or branch". In Jesus' case, He is described as coming from the stump of Jesse, who was the father of King David.

Revelation 22:16 confirms His ancestral record: "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star." (ESV)

This Advent season, as we remember the birth of our Saviour, let us contemplate the spiritual aspect of His family tree.

John 15:5 – [Jesus said,] "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (NIV 2011)

We believers are also called branches because we are rooted in Christ. In the genealogical sense of "branch", we have become sons and daughters of God by adoption. Further, it is our job to branch out and share the story of the gospel, leading others into the family of God. Nevertheless, we can function only if we are properly attached to the solid trunk of the vine, Christ, from Whom we receive our spiritual nourishment. Then, we will produce abundant fruit for the kingdom, until the day of His return.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, as we celebrate the birth of Your Son Jesus Christ may we, His church, cherish the stories that we read and hear from Your holy Word. May we gather around Your table and discuss the beautiful heritage that is ours through the precious blood of our Saviour, in Whose holy name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Lori Ciccanti <dlalsina@mchsi.com>
Ocean View, Delaware, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for a good word Lori.


    Bless you, Lori & Lou!
    MERRY CHRISTMAS.


    Lori –
    Thank you for writing. I really loved this word today. You have described our vital lineage to Christ as Children of God so well. May you and your family have a blessed Christmas.


    Morning, Lori,
    What a great way to start this crisp, sunny morning. I have always thought that genealogy would be most interesting. I am, however, a “Martha.” I need to sit down and do it, don’t it?
    (Texas)


    Lori, It Is really fascinating delving into and discussing one’s genealogy especially when it relates directly to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
    Not sure how anyone can deny Him as God, if they read and study the Bible.
    Thanks for writing about it.


    Dear Lori Ciccanti,
    Thank you so much for the inspiring devotional.
    It reminded me of an expression in Arabic, which translates into English as “being cut from the tree” and meaning that one has no family.
    Blessings on this 2nd Advent weekend,
    (B.C.)


    Lori this as very inspiring but it suddenly raised a question in my mind which has never occurred before.
    I know Jesus is referred to a branch in the house of David, but, now I have to ask since he had no human father, but was a son of the Holy Spirit and a human mother, how could this be? Unless it is considered He descended from Mary’s line, though usually genealogy is through the male line.
    How do you read this?


    Lori you have been real busy writing this holiday season.
    Today’s devotional has has caused me to think about my family tree. We have a lot of stories to share. After sharing the stories of our family history would be a good time to share Jesus his family tree with our family and friends will be joining us for Christmas celebration.
    Thanks again Lori for waking me up to sharing Jesus Christ lineage.
    Merry Christmas to you and Lou.


    You explained so clearly to me our branch connection to Jesus.
    I have a Christian friend who has been a Christian many years longer than I and when here marriage disintigrated was excommunicated from her church. She struggled with with her sons to find acceptance in the Christian community and found acceptance in the Pentecostal denomination and has often taken many worship leadership rolls in her church. Many of her quiet times are spent in God’s word and has taught many truths to me. She and another woman have started a ministry for Spanish speaking immigrants which leads to faith in Jesus and beyond.
    Now I understand why if we trust who holds our future we find peace with those who question our motivation.
    Thanks.


    Good one Lori. The other week I began reading the book of Matthew and of course it begins with the genealogy which I always find tiresome. Never-the-less I persevered and as I did so I began thinking how marvelous the way it went on and on, to know all those people start to finish, which then reminded me that God also knows my genealogy start to finish even though I don’t. Which lead me to consider that just as through the line of Jesus’ their were marvelous stories and things different people did, that the same is true about mine and that one day I will know about them. It made me wonder when the first person in my line came to know Christ and then the next, what was their story. And best yet it dawned on me that those people in my line that came to know Christ are all waiting for me in heaven!! What an amazing and wondrous thought, I can hardly wait to meet them and know their testimony of God’s goodness to them. It certainly gave me a whole new insight and appreciation for all the lists of genealogy I have struggled through in the Scriptures.
    Blessings.

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