Jesse Tree

A series of Bible Stories through Advent

Jesse Trees are a very old Christmas Tradition and first started in medieval times. They are used to help tell the story of the Bible from Creation to the Christmas Story, especially to those who, at the time, were not able to read.

The name comes from Jesse who was the Father of the great Jewish King David. One prophecy in the Bible, in the book of Isaiah, says: ‘A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots.’ (Isaiah 11:1) meaning that the Messiah would come from David’s family.

Early Jesse trees showed Jesse, from whom sprang a tree or vine bearing David and Jesus. Later artists added more figures – much like a family tree. The Jesse tree has appeared in almost every art form, including sculpture, painting, manuscripts, wood carving and stained glass. Churches today can use the Jesse tree as a powerful illustration of the history of our faith, especially during Advent when we look forward to the coming of Christ at Christmas. It works by having a simple bare tree in church, and adding homemade symbols each week during the service. The symbols are reminders of people in the Bible’s story of God’s love for the world.

You might choose to make your own Jesse Tree. It can be almost any shape and size, to fit your space and resources. For a small version, use a twiggy branch anchored with modelling clay in a flowerpot and filled with earth. It must stand firmly. Alternatively, a two-dimensional tree can be made from paper, card, or fabric and stuck to a wall.

Within the Colchester Methodist Circuit, each afternoon though Advent 2020 there will be a new Bible Story for all ages added to our YouTube channel  and can be found under the playlist Jesse Tree

In addition you will find below an activity sheet to download. Each sheet covers two of the stories and is in the form of a bauble which can be coloured in and hung on your Christmas tree, or elsewhere as a reminder of the stories, and in anticipation of Christmas.

Jesse Tree Activity

Use the downloadable PDF’s below to make “baubles” to hang on your own Jesse Tree or Christmas Tree.

Just print the page (there are two days per page).

Then you can colour in the images on the baubles.

Once you’ve finished colouring, carefully cut out around the baubles, leaving their joining/hanging straps.

Fold in half. Then glue the two blank sides of the baubles together, leaving the strap between them unglued. You can also use some cotton or string or ribbon to pass through the hanging strap to make the bauble dangle.

Then just hang the bauble on your tree and admire!

Jesse Tree Baubles

Jesse Tree CREATION and ADAM stories

Jesse Tree NOAH and ABRAHAM stories

Jesse Tree ISAAC and JACOB stories

Jesse Tree JOSEPH and MOSES stories

Jesse Tree PASSOVER and COMMANDMENTS stories

Jesse Tree JOSHUA and GIDEON stories

Jesse Tree RUTH and SAMUEL stories

Jesse Tree DAVID and SOLOMON stories

Jesse Tree ELIJAH and ESTHER stories

Jesse Tree DANIEL and JONAH stories

Jesse Tree ZECHARIAH and MARY stories

Jesse Tree ELIZABETH and JOSEPH stories

Jesse Tree JESUS story


We hope these stories have helped you to celebrate Christmas in a new and different way in 2020.

A big Thank You to everyone who has taken part. Without your help we could not have done this.


Happy Christmas everyone!