And the word of the LORD came to me, saying,…
The words are addressed to Joshua the priest, but they represent the Divine Saviour.
I. THE BEAUTY OF THIS "BRANCH." What is it that most especially constitutes the beauty of the Divine character? Not justice by itself; not mercy by itself; but the marvellous union of both, the harmony between these Divine attributes, by which God can be "a just God and a Saviour." That union has been discovered perfect and complete in the person of the Lord Jesus, the God-man-mediator, so in Him is the very perfection of beauty. It is indeed said of Him, "There is no beauty that we should desire Him"; but these expressions refer to the meanness of His birth, and to the prejudices of His nation.
II. THE SHADINESS OF THIS BRANCH. The term brings to our minds the exposed state of the sinner, in the "weary land" of this world. He stands exposed to the wrath of God. He wants "shade" —something that will interpose between him and the intense heat from above, and afford him a protection from it. By whatever emblem the precious blood and perfect righteousness of Christ are represented to us in Scripture, the idea always conveyed is that of security against the effects of Divine wrath, consequent on human transgression. The shade of the "righteous Branch" is the interposing mediation of our exalted Redeemer. The shade of this Branch is extending itself every day.
III. THE FRUITFULNESS OF THIS BRANCH. The two figures are united in Canticles. "I sat down under His shadow with great delight, and His fruit was sweet to my taste." In Revelation is described the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruit, and whose leaves were not for shade only, but also for healing.
IV. THE STRENGTH OF THIS BRANCH. "He shall bear the glory." He shall bear the weight of all the cares and concerns of His whole Church, both small and great, even of every individual, however important or insignificant; and He shall be found both able and willing to support them all. And He "bare our sins in His own body on the tree."
Parallel VersesKJV: And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,