Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. Who was your hero when you were 10 years old? Was he or she fictional or real? What was your hero able to do that you couldn’t?
2. What do you like most about coming home after being away a long time?
3. Whereas the mighty tree of Assyria was destroyed (Isaiah 10:33, 34), what will happen to the root of Jesse (Israel)? How is this “Branch” different from that mentioned in Isaiah 4:2?
4. What does it mean that “the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him” (verses 2 – 3a; see also 2 Kings 2:15)? What supernatural knowledge, ability or motivation do you see here?
5. What will his reign be like (verses 3b – 5; compare Isaiah 9:6, 7; contrast Isaiah 1:17 – 23 and Isaiah 5:12 – 23)?
6. Verses 6 – 9 figuratively portray the peaceable kingdom. What types of people or situations may Isaiah have in mind here (see Isaiah 19:23 – 25)? What does this scene tell you about human relationships under the rule of this King? About the cause and extent of his reign?
7. Armies rally around a raised banner. Who will rally here? What will be the result (verse 12; see Isaiah 32:16 – 18)? Once before, God saved His people by the Exodus. How will this happen a second time?
8. How might verses 11 and 12 relate to the imagery of verses 6 – 9? To the promise of Isaiah 19:24, 25? How certain will all this be (see Isaiah 9:7)? Why?
9. The New Testament interprets the “Branch” as the Messiah, Jesus (see Romans 15:12; Revelation 5:5). What stories, teachings or sayings about Jesus come to mind as you consider the qualities described in verses 2 – 5? Which of these qualities of Jesus has particularly made a difference in your life?
10. Comparing verse 12 with John 12:32, could it be that the “banner” raised by the promised Messiah is ultimately the cross of Christ? Why do you think so?
11. Do you see yourself at this time more like a wolf or a lamb? Who do you see as your opposite in this regard? Why? What does it mean for the two of you that God does not change wolves into sheep, or vice versa, but transform them so they can live in peace with one another?
12. This picture of the Messiah’s reign is both deeply personal and social. What would a new society look like under the Messiah’s reign (be specific)?
13. How would you like to grow under the Lordship of Christ?