And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek…
I. THE WORK OF CHRIST.
1. Jesus may be called an ensign because He is a gathering or rallying point for men. There always have been persons who have stood forth prominently from their fellows, in travel, in science, in ethics, in art, in song. These have founded particular schools of thought or philosophy, and men have claimed them as leaders, ranged themselves round their standards, and been proud to be called by their names. Such individuals have been "ensigns of the people," gathering or rallying points for their own followers. Just so is Jesus preeminently "an ensign for the people."
2. An "ensign," is a banner to fight under. The watchword of the true believer in Jesus is, "Jehovah nissi!" There are different regiments enrolled in the Lord's sacramental host, and therefore are they spoken of as "an army with banners"; but every sectional flag droops and dips in the dust as it is borne before the "Captain of our salvation."
3. An "ensign" is a guide to travellers. And such is Christ to the travellers from earth to heaven.
II. THE REST OF CHRIST. "His rest shall be glorious."
1. Because it will be the rest which follows victory.
2. The rest of abiding peace. In 1815, when the British Parliament were voting honours and emoluments to Wellington, and considering "the measures necessary towards forming a peace establishment," suddenly all their plans were interrupted and their peace projects dissipated by the intelligence that Napoleon had escaped from Elba. Nothing like this will occur during the rest of Christ; His enemies once subdued will be subdued forever.
3. Because it will be the rest which follows successful attempts at salvation. Like the rest of the life boat crew, when the mariners have been all brought from the tempest tossed and torn and tottering wreck; like the rest of the firemen when they have rescued the last inmate who was ready to perish from the burning building. His rest shall be glorious, for "He shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied."
4. Because it shall be the rest of social enjoyment, unmarred by pain or sickness, by separation or death.
5. The rest of joyous activity.
6. A rest of unending duration.
(J. W. Cole.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.