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Romans 15:12: And Again Isaiah Says, "The Root Of Jesse Will Come, Even He Who Arises To Rule The Gentiles"

Romans 15:12
[12] And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.” (ESV)

For most of us the term, "root of Jesse," likely has no particular meaning. To the Jews who would have read the Apostle Paul's letter to the Romans this phrase is very significant. Jesse was the father of David. In the book of Matthew the first name mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus Christ is none other than David. Jesus was the Son, or descendant, of David.

Isaiah prophesied about Jesus Christ, that "the root of Jesse will come." Jesus was the Messiah. He was a true descendant of King David, the greatest king of Israel, the apple of God's eye. Isaiah first declares that Jesus will rule the Gentiles. This would not have been hard for the Jews to accept. What was hard for the Jews to accept is what Isaiah says at the end of this verse.

"In Him will the Gentiles hope." Isaiah told the people of Israel, centuries before the coming of Jesus, that the messiah would be the hope of the Gentiles. Certainly, the Pharisees were not looking for a messiah who would be the hope of the Gentiles. They would have been fine with the messiah ruling over the Gentiles, but the hope of the Gentiles? No way.

This background information helps us to understand the significance of what Paul is saying to his culture. Jews and Gentiles were learning what it meant to be one body in Christ Jesus. They had to put aside their cultural past and realize that the Savior was the hope of all peoples, Jew and Gentile. There is no longer any appropriate distinction for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Do you think there are any people who God cannot save? Are there people who you think are beyond the hope of the Savior? Ask the Lord to humble your heart and help you to love all peoples, just like he loves.