Paul and Old Testament prophecy
Verse: Romans 15:1-13
In Romans 15:12, Paul refers to Isaiah 11:10 to reinforce his claim that Jesus is the Messiah. Isaiah’s prophecy includes three major characteristics of the Messiah: his family line, his position of power over all the nations and the hope he would bring to the Gentiles.
First, the prophecy predicts that the Messiah would be a descendant of David’s father, Jesse. Jesus was indeed born into the royal line of David, the son of Jesse (see Matthew 1:1–16). This fulfilled the covenant God made with David (see 2 Samuel 7:5–16) as well as the promise God made to Abraham (see Genesis 12:2–3).
Second, the prophecy states that the “Root of Jesse” would rule over all nations. Although Jesus rejected earthly positions of authority while on Earth, he now reigns over a spiritual kingdom (see John 18:36) and will one day reign over all, for “the kingdom of the world [will] become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah” (Revelation 11:15; see also Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:9–11).
Third, the prophecy predicts that the Gentiles would hope in him. Jesus fulfilled this final part of the prophecy by welcoming Gentiles into his kingdom. Paul points out that “Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed and, moreoever, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy” (Romans 15:8–9). Paul then quotes several Old Testament passages to illustrate this truth. Paul’s calling to proclaim Jesus to the Gentiles (see Acts 9:15) confirms that Jesus offers hope not only to the Jews but also to the entire world.
Through Jesus’ royal bloodline, his eternal reign and his inclusive kingdom, he fulfills each of the three prophecies highlighted in Isaiah 11:10.