We are in the Advent Season and many of us are doing Advent Calendars and our churches are including Advent as part of their services. The word Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning arrival. In this Advent Season, we are awaiting the birth of the Savior of the World, Jesus. His birth was foretold by prophets hundreds of years before His birth. “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots” (Isaiah 11:1 KJV)
J. Vernon McGee goes a little into the background of this verse in his commentary on Isaiah. He said that the reason Isaiah went back to King David’s father, Jesse, was because Jesse was a farmer, a sheepherder, and lived in Bethlehem, which was an out-of-the-way place, not very important as far as towns were concerned. But when David became king, Bethlehem became known as the city of King David. By the time Jesus was born, Bethlehem had sunk back to the level of a peasant town. Dr. McGee says, “It no longer belonged to a prince raised in a palace, but it belonged to One raised in a carpenter shop. Isaiah, therefore, very carefully says that the rod comes ‘out of the stem of Jesse.’” Jesus was born in humble circumstances, not in a palace of a king.
At the time of Jesus’ birth, the Jewish people were looking for their Messiah who had been foretold all through the Scriptures. I find it interesting that with all the prophecies concerning Jesus, they didn’t recognize Him. Some did, like Shepherds when the angel told them about Jesus’ birth. They hurried to see Him and when they came to the manger, they worshipped Him and then went out and told everyone they met. For the most part, the Jewish people are still waiting for Messiah to come, although some have found Him and made Him Lord and Savior of their lives. But Jesus didn’t come just for the Jewish people, He came for the entire world.
There are those today who are looking for a Savior, but even with the Scriptures we have today, they don’t recognize Him. Just as in the past, they are expecting a Savior who will deliver them from the earthly problems that plague our world today. They are not expecting Him to rescue them Spiritually. Jesus told the people of His day, and He tells us today, that He didn’t come to deliver us from political oppression or physical problems. When Jesus was delivered to Pilate for questioning before being crucified, “Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”(John 18:36 ESV)
He is a King who came to deliver us from our sins. By dying on the cross, He took all our sins upon Himself, and He took on the penalty of death for us. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NASB 1995) When we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, He forgives us of our sins, gives us eternal life, and brings hope, peace, and love.
As you participate in Advent, the awaiting of our Savior, Lord, and King, remember the free gift of salvation He has given us. If you have never asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, today is a good day to surrender and allow Him control of your life. You will find that it will be the best decision you will ever make. He loves you with an everlasting love and wants to have a relationship with you. Trust Him, and you will find that this will be the best Christmas ever!