Wow, Sydney needs those words right now, Pakistan needs those words.
Isaiah is written in 2 halves and 2 themes. Chapters 1-39 is judgement of the northern kingdom to Assyria. Chapters 40-66 is about judgement of southern kingdom (incl Jerusalem) to Babylon.
Then there, right in the middle of these two bleak announcements is the most amazing hope announcement—there will be forgiveness, restoration and a king. Prepare the way! We tend to think of Jesus as a religious leader (the stain glass shepherd). Jesus is political—He is God’s king for the world! The sooner we shift world perception of Jesus as ‘religious teacher’ and bring ‘ruler’ into the conversation, the better.
In Luke we are introduced to the ‘preparer’ John.
Imagine the impact of John. 400 years since a prophet had spoken. 400 years since the exile and return. 400 years since the rebuilding of the temple and in that time they’d experienced conquest by the Greeks and Romans. There must have been a question mark hanging over the national consciousness, ‘Really? Was that it? Was that all Isaiah meant in ch40 …a modest return and temporary peace and no king?‘
Then after 400 years God’s voice comes back online—a voice crying in the wilderness. “Prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God”
A king. PREPARE
Share hope. Geoff