A voice calling in the wilderness

“The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way’ – ‘a voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.”’” (Mark 1:1-3 NIV)

Mark began his good news about Jesus connecting him with the Jewish prophets. And notice that this is ‘good news’! He identified Jesus as the Messiah, the son of God, and the one Isaiah wrote about: there would be a messenger sent to prepare the way for the Messiah. This messenger would be a voice calling in the wilderness. Continue reading “A voice calling in the wilderness”

He died for us

Isaiah has often been called ‘the fifth gospel’ because of the great detail in has in depicting the life of Jesus. When we read through Isaiah 53 I think we can see that this is justified as it depicts the suffering and death of the Messiah, not just the physical aspects but why he died.

“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:4-6 NIV)

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The coming Messiah

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope.” (Isaiah 42:1-4 NIV)

It should not surprise us that we have information about the coming Messiah centuries before he came. Most agree that the first indication that he would come took place back at the beginning: when God cursed the snake he said, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15).

The offspring, or ‘seed’, of woman who would crush the head, delivering a death blow to Satan, was none other than the Messiah in his death and resurrection. Although Satan did “strike his heel” in the betrayal and crucifixion of the Messiah, he crushed the head of Satan by conquering sin and death. Continue reading “The coming Messiah”

Wisdom

Christians sometimes moan about the times in which we are living. Everything seems to be going from bad to worse. And then it gets worse than it was. We think we live in the worst times that ever were. Christian often wonder why those around us can’t see their need to change the way they are living and thinking. If seems that one of the things missing in our world is real wisdom.

What is wisdom? Some seem to think that wisdom is simply the accumulation of knowledge. The problem with that type of definition is that you can accumulate loads of knowledge and not have wisdom. Wisdom is a quality which one gets that is based on knowledge, experience and good judgement. As a friend of mine has often said, knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit rather than a vegetable; wisdom is knowing you shouldn’t put it in a fruit salad. Continue reading “Wisdom”