Isaiah WEEK 3 - The Joy of the Redeemed

  • Please read both Matthew 11:2-11 and Isaiah 35:1-11.
  • In Matthew 11 we find John the Baptist asking Jesus whether or not he is the Messiah. Before moving into the Isaiah passage, please reflect on a couple of questions:
  • Why do you think John was asking this? Did he really not know the answer?
  • What is it about Jesus answer that would satisfy John and his disciples? (Look at Matt 11 v5-6 and see Is 11:v5-6 and Isaiah 61:1-3)
  • Jesus, as at the launch of his ministry, applies at another of the (or probably a combination of) the well established Messianic prophecies to Himself and what was going on around him. The messianic prophesies of Isaiah, including this one in Isaiah 35 have been given a number of interpretations by interpreters
  • Some say this is about the Restoration of Judah at the end of the reign of Hezekiah after the Assyrians invaded
  • Some say it is about Jesus coming at the beginning of the gospel age
  • Some say it is about his second coming 
It is possible that this passage pictures all three of the above, but with some difficulty separating the times when the activities he is describing would happen. Please reflect on the following together:
  • What do you understand as to the significance of Zion?
  • What is the nature of the crown awaiting us?
  • What are the characteristics of the Way to Zion and the characteristics of the people that will be met on the way to Zion?
  • What contrasts does Isaiah use to illustrate the transformation promised in v1-2?
  • What does this all suggest we should be like? How should we be encouraging one another?
Heavenly Father, thank you that Jesus came as the Way and made it possible for us to be among the ‘redeemed’. Please help us to live a life of joy as a consequence of what he has done and encourage one another to remain strong in Him.

Charles Nelson and Howard Gracey, 06/12/2010