Lesson Objective: This message takes a look at ancient prophecy, and how we can take hope from the words of God’s appointed messengers from long ago. When we see how God’s promises have been fulfilled, it should bring us joy and excitement, knowing that He continues to be faithful to us. Reading the words of Isaiah, we see a foreshadowing of Jesus in the “stump of Jesse” note that shows Christ will come from the lineage of David. This lesson uses tree and tree stump images to emphasize how the prophecy of Isaiah 11 provides an improbable message of hope and growth. Isaiah 1
Law/Gospel Theme: Sometimes the messages of prophets seem archaic or irrelevant, but they point to the Gospel in a remarkable and wonderful way. Isaiah in particular contains so many prophecies that turn us to the Messiah. Even though the man lived hundreds of years before Christ, he gave words from the Lord that were fulfilled in Jesus. Isaiah reminds us that God is always faithful to His covenants. We might have to wait, and sometimes God might seem silent, but He is always working and will provide what He promises.
- See the Bible Craft ideas on Jesus the Righteous Branch
- Download the complete 19-page Sunday School Lesson on Isaiah 11:1-10.
Object Lesson Materials: Actual tree branches or pieces of wood; pictures of stumps, trees, and roots.
Bible Passage: Isaiah 11:1-10
Message: Note: As with most messages, the details of how you choose to communicate this are adaptable and should cater to timing as well as to your audience and student needs.
Children’s Sermon Bible Lesson: Jesus is the Righteous Branch
Greet children, and discuss trees and stumps…
Hello, children of God!
Do you know what I have here? Hold up log or tree component. This is a part of a tree. Well, it’s a piece of wood really, but originally it was part of a tree. Now, if you just have a piece of a tree, like this stump (hold up picture of tree stump), do you think anything is going to grow from it? Well, probably not. You don’t usually see branches and fruit growing from just a dead- end part of the tree.
So what does a tree need to grow? How does a tree come up out of the ground? Well, you start out with seeds, or sometimes a small tree called a sapling (display pictures or examples). You plant these things, and then…a tree pops up the next day, right? Well, no, not quite. It takes quite a while for a tree to grow from a seed into a full tree (show picture of large tree). That can require a lot of patience. It might seem like nothing is happening, when day after day goes by and the tree isn’t finished growing yet. But after time, with soil and water and good things, God makes the tree grow. It’s sort of a miracle!
This reminds me of a prophecy in the Bible that talks about trees and stumps. There was a prophet who lived a long time ago named Isaiah. Isaiah gave a lot of important messages from God, offering people encouragement and hope in hard times. He spoke about how a Messiah would come to rescue everyone. One of the prophecies that Isaiah gave stated that “from the stump of Jesse would come forth a shoot, and a branch from his roots would bear fruit.” Well, those might sound like kind of strange words, but they make sense when you know a little about the family line of Christ. See, there was a man named Jesse, who had a son named David. This David defeated a giant named goliath, and later became a great king of Israel. Many years after David’s reign, one of his descendants was born in a little town called Bethlehem. That great-great-great-great-great (etc.) grandson was named Jesus. So in this prophecy, Isaiah was talking about the Messiah, an unlikely branch growing from a stump of Jesse.
Here’s the neat part, though: Isaiah lived 700 years before Jesus was even born! So how did he know that this would happen? Well, the messages he gave people were God’s messages. Isaiah spoke what God told him to say, and God knew what was going to happen. God had it planned all along. It might have seemed like nothing was happening, just like when those trees are growing. But God is not slow to act. He was working the whole time, and kept His promises to deliver His people. Maybe it wasn’t in the timeline the people Isaiah spoke to might have expected, but it happened at the right time. Christ came! And one day, He will come again. When will that be? Well, we don’t know, of course. It might seem like it’s taking too long, but we know that God always keeps His promises. Jesus will return, and all things will be made new and perfect. We have hope in the future, though we don’t know all of the details. Meanwhile, our Savior is working in our lives! He is present and loves us and helps us every day. What a wonderful comfort that is!
Why don’t we say a prayer to thank God for His promises?
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for keeping your promises
And sending your son Jesus.
Help us to trust in your word.
Thank you that we can always count on you
And celebrate at Christmas.
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference:
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.
6 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.
7 The cow and the bear shall graze;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
9 They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
10 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.