Zechariah 3:8: My Servant the BRANCH

For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the Branch, Zechariah 3:8.
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In Scripture, there are several references to the BRANCH:

Isaiah 11:1,

There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.

Isaiah 53:2,

For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.

Jeremiah 23:5,

“Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD,
“That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness;
A King shall reign and prosper,
And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth,

Jeremiah 33:15,

‘In those days and at that time
I will cause to grow up to David
A Branch of righteousness:
He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth,

Zechariah 3:8,

‘Hear, O Joshua, the high priest,
You and your companions who sit before you,
For they are a wondrous sign;
For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.

Zechariah 6:12,

Then speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying:

“Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH!
From His place He shall branch out,
And He shall build the temple of the LORD:

In addition, there are some other references to My Servant:

Isaiah 42:1,

“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,
My Elect One in whom My soul delight!
I have put My Spirit upon Him’
He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.

Jeremiah 33:20-22,

20] “Thus says the LORD:  ‘If you can break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night, so that there will not be day and night in their season, 21] then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levites, My ministers.  22] As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.’ “

Jeremiah 33:25-26,

25] “Thus says the LORD: ‘If My covenant is not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, 26] then I will cast away the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, so that I will not take any of his descendants to be rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  For I will cause their captives to return, and will have mercy on them.’ “

Ezekiel 34:23-25,

23] I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them – My servant David.  He shall feed them and be their shepherd.  24] “David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them.

Ezekiel 37:25,

Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever.

Zechariah 3:8,

8] ‘Hear, O Joshua, the high priests, You and your companions who sit before you.  For they are a wondrous sign; For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.

Matthew 12:18,

“Behold!  My servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased!  I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He will declare justice to the Gentiles. 

In these verses, there are several thoughts, though we’ll look at just a couple of them:

1. The entrance of the BRANCH, Isaiah 11:1; 53:11.

These references show us, no pun intended, the family tree of the BRANCH, namely, the lineage and family of David, King of Israel.  Indeed, it is what the Word of God calls Him:  the BRANCH.  It also tells us that, except for a couple of instances, there seemed to be nothing special about Him growing up.  He was just another Jewish boy.  The record does show that He was able at the age of twelve to engage the scholars in the Temple in conversation, Luke 2:41-47, And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers, v. 46.  And there were the visits of the shepherds at His birth, Luke 2:8-17, His presentation in the Temple a couple of months after His birth, Luke 1:22-38, and the visit of the magi when He was a toddler, Matthew 2:1-16.  Those are His only records until He appears on the scene when He was about thirty, Luke 3:23.

I’ve often wondered if Jesus “spoiled” His parents for their other children.  It is true that His conception was miraculous; no other way could He have been born without a fallen, Adamic nature, but He grew and developed in Mary’s womb like any other child.  She felt Him kick the first time.  She felt Him as He grew inside her.  Did she put Joseph’s hand on her tummy so that he, too, could feel Him move?  When He was born, He was a brand new baby boy, just like others they had no doubt seen in the village.  Mom had to nurse Him, change His diaper – or whatever they had in that day.  They watched Him as He learned how to turn over, how He began to be able to get up, first on hands and knees and then to stand up.  They watched as He took His first baby steps, those steps that would eventually lead Him up to Calvary.  They were thrilled as He said His first word, then learned how to talk.

In short, they watched Him grow up, Luke 2:40.

And, yes, there were brothers and sisters.  It is a religious falsehood that she remained a virgin her entire life.  When Jesus began His public ministry and the strong reaction He created, we read this:

Is not this the carpenter’s son?  Is not His mother called Mary?  And His brothers James, Joses, Simon and Judas.  And His sisters, are they not all with us.  Where then does this Man get all these things?  So they were offended at Him, Matthew 13:55-57 NKJV emphasis added.

And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue.  And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things?  And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands!  Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon?  And are not His sisters with us?”  So they were offended at Him, Mark 6:2-4 NKJV.

So, according to Scriptural authority, we know that Jesus had four brothers and at least three sisters.  When Matthew quotes those offended at Jesus’ teaching, he quotes them as saying, all His sisters, not just His sister, or both His sisters, or even just His sisters, as Luke put it, but all His sisters.  It appears from this that there at least three girls in this family.

And there is no Scriptural authority for the idea that these brothers and sisters were Joseph’s from an earlier marriage.  Scripture tells us that Joseph and Mary had a normal marital relationship after the birth of the Lord Jesus, Matthew 1:18, 25.  These other children were theirs, not just “his”.

Isaiah 53:2 tells us that there was nothing special about His appearance; He looked just like any other Jewish male.  There was nothing about Him, so far as we know, that would merit a second glance.

So, why is He different?

2. The exaltation of the BRANCH.

Jeremiah 23:5,

“Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD,
“That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness;
A King shall reign and prosper,
And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.

Jeremiah 33:15,
‘In those days and at that time
I will cause to grow up to David
A Branch of righteousness;
He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth,

David had many sons and one of them did indeed follow him on the throne:  Solomon, who was next in the Davidic lineage.  This line continued until the time of Jehoiachin, who was the last independent king over Judah.  There’s a lot of history between the time of David and Jehoiachin which we’ve passed over.  Some were “good” kings, others, not so much, but none of them could be said to have “executed judgment and righteousness” in the sense Scripture describes in the verses above.  None of David’s descendants were ” branches of righteousness”.  They were just “branches.”

There is a lot of discussion about this idea of the Messianic reign of our Lord.  Without getting into it, Scripture tells us that there is coming a time when the Lord Jesus will indeed sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem, and will reign as King over this entire world.  It will be a time of true justice and righteousness.  There will not be any of the embarrassing carryings-on that we’ve seen recently in this country.  Scripture indicates that there will not be universal rejoicing over the re-appearance of the Lord Jesus; there will, nevertheless, be a time of peace like this world has never seen.

He will “reign and prosper And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth,” not just “in the church”, as some would have us believe.

“Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”

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