Romans 15: 12

The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.

Well, of course, you know that this root that was foretold from the family of Jesse is Jesus. Jesse was the father of David. As you well know, not only the Jews have hope because of the Messiah but also every person in the world. Regardless of ethnic background, family lineage or any other categorical subdivision, all people now can have the hope of a good life and a future.

This verse holds the promise of inclusion but it also holds the promise of hope. All who have been without hope now have a reason to hope again. In Jesus is renewed hope. Yesterday may have been a bad day. Last year may have been a rough year but tomorrow is a new day. In him, in Jesus, even the most lost person on the planet can have hope. He is the Lord over all and while some may hear that as oppressive, in truth just the opposite is true. When Jesus accepts his lordship over our lives, he accepts the responsibility to look after us, to take care of us and to provide for us. That is the lord’s job. That explains also why Jesus calls himself the good shepherd. The shepherd doesn’t oppress the sheep. He cares for them even at great personal peril. Jesus said that the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep (John 10: 11).

I am also reminded of Jesus using the comparison of the branches and the vine (John 15: 5). There is something very earthy and base about these descriptions of Jesus and the role he plays in our lives here on earth. Our lives are filled and fulfilled when we are rooted in Jesus, grounded in him. When we strip away the frill and get down to the very basics there is soil and seed, roots, vines, branches, and fruit. Jesus doesn’t call himself a multilevel edifice, covered in gold and jewels. He is our root. He is the one down in the dirt, getting dirty providing a foundation and supply chain for us. He feeds and nourishes us. He provides everything we need by being grounded. We have only to abide in him. He does the work but the fruit shows out on our branches. Abiding in Jesus is still the real key here. We see it said differently at times but being rooted in Jesus is the hope of today and the hope for tomorrow.