THE JESSE TREE
The Jesse Tree, with all it symbols, gives us the genealogy or family tree of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was a Jew, born of a Jewish virgin named Mary. The Jewish Nation began with Abraham about 2000 years before Christ. Abraham is called the Father of the Jewish Nation. One of the purposes of the Jewish Nation, in the plan of God, was to provide a human nature for the Divine Son of God. Yes, a whole nation was begun and allowed to develop, historically, in order to provide a man to be joined to the Divine Nature of the Son of God.
Both the Old Testament and the New Testament are very clear on how Jesus descended from Abraham. Abraham had a son Isaac, who had a son named Jacob. Now Jacob's name was changed to Israel.
The Kingdom of Israel and the State of Israel, today, get their name from the Jacob whose name was changed to Israel. Jacob (Israel) had twelve sons. These twelve sons developed into the twelve tribes of Israel. Some of the sons of Jacob who are principal figures in the history of Israel are: Joseph, who was the occasion for the tribes of Israel leaving Palestine and going down to Egypt about 1750 B.C.; Levi, from whose tribe came the priests of Israel; and Judah from whose tribe would come the kings who ruled Israel, like Solomon and David.
Jesse, who lived in Bethlehem about 1000 B.C., was a direct descendant of the tribe of Judah. God chose Jesse's son, David, to be the second king of the Jews. Now Jesus of Nazareth was a direct descendant of Jesse and King David.
St. Luke traces Jesus' ancestry from Mary of Nazareth back to David and Jesse and Judah (Luke 3). St. Matthew traces Jesus' ancestry from Joseph of Nazareth back to David and Jesse and Judah (Matthew 1). So,
Jesus was the physical heir to the throne of King David. Jesus, as a legitimate heir to the Jewish throne, was thought to be a threat to King Herod (puppet king under the Romans) and a possible threat to the peace of Palestine, which was a Roman Province in the time of Jesus.
The Jesse Tree should help us better understand the divinity of Jesus Christ. The Son of God did not just appear in the world unannounced.
God anticipated the coming of His Son by choosing the Jewish Nation, commencing with Abraham. As the history of the Jewish people unfolds in the pages of the Old Testament, it becomes clear through the prophets that the Messiah, the Son of God, would emerge from the chosen people. He would be in the lineage of Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Jesse, and David. He would be born in Bethlehem, the City of David.