THE TENDER PLANT
"For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground" (Isaiah 53:2, NKJV).
The imagery of the tender plant is an allusion to the "Branch" of Isaiah 11:1 where the Messiah is identified as a branch growing out of the roots of Jesse.
As a plant draws nourishment from the soil in order to grow and develop into maturity, so the incarnate Christ was to draw on the wisdom and strength of God to fully accomplish His mission. Jesus grew to manhood in perfect harmony with the natural laws of human development. Dr. Luke's account is that "Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" (Luke 2:52, NIV). The conditions under which Christ grew up were as "dry ground." This is a figure of the hardships, adversities, struggles, and prejudices in which the "tender plant" grew up. Rather than becoming stunted like a plant in dry ground. Jesus grew spiritually, physically, intellectually, and socially.
As a man, Jesus was perfect in every respect--in character and in physical appearance. When the hour came to pay the supreme price of our redemption, Christ was ready. The tender plant was ready in every way to pass the test with flying colors. We, too, can grow as a tender plant into full maturity in Jesus Christ our perfect example (see Philippians 4:12, 13). Ellen G. White makes this point about the tender plant: "Throughout his childhood and youth, he manifested the perfection of character that marked his after life. He grew in wisdom and knowledge... He grew up as a tender plant... in the retired valleys among the hills... yet his life was one long struggle against the powers of darkness."--Signs of the Times, August 6, 1896.
My Prayer Today: Lord, as a tender plant, I desire to grow into Your perfect likeness. Thank You for showing me how. Amen.