(1) Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? (2) For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground:Isiah 53:1-2
Verse 2 emphasizes both the deity and humanity of Jesus Christ. What does the expression “tender plant” mean? Dr. John Phillips tells a story about a gardener who helped him understand what a “tender plant” is. The gardener pointed out that “all plants are catalogued in one of three ways: they are hardy, half-hardy or tender. A hardy plant is one native to the area. It will take ready root because it feels at home there. A half-hardy plant is not native to the area, but it comes from a place that is similar. It will readily grow where it is planted because it finds the climate, the type of soil, the temperature, and the weather similar to what it has been used to. A tender plant, however, well, that’s another story. It comes from quite a different place. It does not find the soil in its new location congenial, nor does it like the climate. It really belongs somewhere else. It is an exotic plant from far, far away.”
Isaiah says our Lord was on earth as a tender plant. He comes here from far, far away. He was not a native of this planet of ours. His nature was not like ours because He was God in flesh. He had no sin nature, but rather He was absolutely holy.
Isaiah describes Him being like a “root out of a dry ground”. Imagine walking through the most barren dessert, as parched as anyone you have ever seen in any movie depicting such things, and there right in the middle of a sand dune you see a gigantic, bright green watermelon connected to a vine coming out of the ground. That would blow your mind. You may even be tempted to consider it a mirage.
In terms of Israel’s history this is exactly what Jesus’ coming was like. The prediction is that He would be like a “root out of dry ground”. God had not spoken. There had been no new revelation from God for 400 years.In terms of God working and revealing like He had, it was a time of desert.Jesus’ coming, like all that we celebrate with Christmas and Easter, was quite extraordinary. There was no new Word from God for hundreds of years, and then the Word made flesh, dwelling among us. Like a watermelon in the desert- like a root out of dry ground- he showed up and changed everything.
Hebrews, which we will be studying in the weeks to come, states it this way:
(1) God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets (2) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;Hebrews 1:1-2
When we get saved God regenerates our hearts. The Bible says that those who are in Christ are a new creation. We ought to be different from the world in the way we think, act, and live. When we get saved our new home and our new, first citizenship is in heaven. We live for a new city and a new country. That means that like Jesus, we are no longer of this world, though we are in this world. We are missionaries, realizing that we are still on the earth to proclaim Christ to those around us.
Lord, please help me to not love this world system, and to make sure that I identify myself as a citizen of heaven first and foremost.