Isaiah 11:1-3 NIV
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 might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
In ancient times, an artistic process called “illumination” was applied to special, often sacred texts. I’ll admit, I’m a big fan of the art form. The words of a document, placed largely in the center of the page, are then surrounded by small paintings, colorful calligraphic borders, and fine, decorative details in the margins framing the piece (sometimes using real gold and silver). Illumination would visually expand the written work on the page, raising its sense of value and beauty in the process.
The magnificent words of Isaiah the prophet have illuminated the Gospels (metaphorically, of course) for millennia. We could almost put Isaiah 11:1-3 in the margins around everything Jesus did and said in the Gospels. The uncanny accuracy, the sheer power of each statement the book of Isaiah makes about the coming Messiah, paints a picture of Jesus that clarifies his role in ways that enhance and enlarge the living stories of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse,” rising from the roots, and this “Branch will bear fruit.” “The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him”—his life an open, abiding place for the Spirit of God to find a fitting home. And then, all sorts of beautiful things will begin to happen.
Wisdom will shine through his words. Understanding of himself, others, and the seen and unseen world around him will color his actions and speech. Counsel will flow from the Father through the clear conduit of his heart, making his bondage-breaking touch one that brings profound deliverance. Might will be expressed in love, and though he could exert strength by calling on legions of angels, he enlists the strength-guiding powers of compassion, mercy, and restraint. Knowledge will be at his fingertips. Reverence and awe, the fear of the Lord, will be the tones sounding within every message he gives.
And tying this all together? Delight. Jesus will delight in offering everything—all the wisdom, all the understanding, all the counsel, all the might, all the knowledge, and all the reverence—to bring glory to his Father (John 17:4).
Where does this same Spirit reside? For the follower of Jesus, in you and in me (2 Tim. 1:14). Called to be like him in this world (1 John 4:17), the Spirit empowers us to express Jesus’ ministry with transcendent love, partnering with the Father in the dismantling of the works of the evil one (1 John 3:8).
Followers of Jesus are filled with the Holy Spirit so we can live and delight in a Jesus-kind of wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, and reverence. He is our North Star for daily living. “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18). Jesus is our North Star for daily living.
Jesus, I receive the Holy Spirit. I want to live faithfully, moved by the wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, and reverence that comes from you. Come, Holy Spirit, I yield myself to be transformed into the likeness of Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Choose one word or phrase mentioned in today’s Daily Text that connects with your life right now. In what ways have you seen yourself thriving in this area of your discipleship?
For the awakening,