CHRIST AS THE SHOOT OF JEHOVAH
According to 4:2, Christ is first the Shoot of Jehovah. The term the Shoot of Jehovah, which refers to Christ’s deity, denotes the riches and the refreshing of life. A shoot out of any plant indicates that the life of that plant is vigorous, growing, and productive. The principle is the same with Christ as the Shoot of Jehovah. As such a Shoot, He embodies the riches, the refreshing, the vigor, the growth, and the productive power of the divine life.
CHRIST AS THE FRUIT OF THE EARTH
The term the Fruit of the earth, which refers to Christ’s humanity and indicates that He grew up out of the earth, denotes the produce brought forth, carried out, and expressed in Christ’s humanity. Of course, in order for this reproduction to take place, there must be the divine life. However, humanity is also needed. Suppose our Lord did not become a man through incarnation but remained simply in His divinity. What could have been produced out of Him as a fruit? The answer is that there could not have been any fruit. I would emphasize the fact that all of Christ’s different kinds of fruits come out of the divine life, which is signified by the Shoot of Jehovah. But without Christ’s humanity, it would have been impossible for the divine life to be productive in bringing forth fruit. The four Gospels show us that all the fruit born by Christ came out of the divine life, but it was produced in Christ’s humanity. Therefore, the Shoot of Jehovah denotes the divine life in its riches, and the Fruit of the earth denotes the fruit produced by this life in humanity.
GOD AND MAN LIVING TOGETHER
For Christ to be both the Shoot of Jehovah and the Fruit of the earth indicates that He is the God-man. In Him God and man live together as one. The New Testament is a revelation of this very thing: it shows us God and man living together, with God as the life inwardly and man as the fruit outwardly.
As believers in Christ today, we need both the divine life and the human life. If we do not have the divine life, we do not have life. But if we do not have the proper human life to match the divine life, we will have no fruit. The New Testament reveals that, as those chosen and predestinated by God, we need to have the divine life expressed in our human living. If we have this, then in our experience we will have Christ both as the Shoot of Jehovah and as the Fruit of the earth.
(Life-Study of Isaiah, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)