Jeremiah 33:15 “In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land.”
There are many miracles surrounding the birth of our Savior. We will marvel again at the faith of Mary and Joseph, the virgin birth, the appearance of angels, miraculous stars. Jeremiah mentions one here that gets little attention most Christmas seasons. We are familiar with the picture of Jesus as the Branch growing from David’s line. We are less familiar with the striking wonder of God this proclaims.
Jeremiah was prophesying at the time of the last Jewish King from David’s line to rule over an independent Jerusalem. That king was Zedekiah. He was ruling in Jerusalem when Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon laid siege to the city, broke through its walls, and captured him while he was trying to flee to the East. Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah watch while each of his sons was killed in front of him, then his friends and advisors. Then Nebuchadnezzar put out Zedekiah’s eyes. The last thing King Zedekiah ever saw was the death of his children and his friends.
This is why the Bible refers to David’s line as a stump. For many it must have appeared as though the family of David, and the promises of a great Savior King from it, had been cut off. The family of David, his royal dynasty, was dead. Nebuchadnezzar made it nothing but a lifeless stump. If this were the history of any other nation or dynasty, the story ends here. And if the story ends here, then we lose…everything.
But underneath the surface there was life left in that royal line. Survivors from David’s family carried on the name and the promises. Among the many miracles at Christmas is the miraculous life God gives to the royal family of David. He kept a seed of life alive in that family through exile in a foreign land and hundreds of years in obscurity. Jesus is the new royal Branch who sprouted and grew to become our Savior.