Summary: Isaiah 35 describes 6 things that would happen when the Messiah came.
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When Jesus Came...
I. Empty lives were filled (vv 1 – 2)
A. We “always” have an excuse.
1. Fear of failure keeps us from trying.
2. Fear of success keeps us from doing our best.
3. Procrastination is a learned behavior to give us an excuse.
B. There is always a time for everything except what is worth doing.
1. We are comfortable not doing anything of eternal value.
2. We are comfortable with the stories of the “fish that got away.”
3. We don’t want to live up to what we are capable of.
C. Jesus challenges the excuses.
1. (John 8) The woman caught in adultery:
a. She was caught in sin. The “Law” said she was to die.
b. Jesus forgave her. Forgiveness brings responsibility. Jesus said, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11c)
2. (Matthew 9) Matthew, the tax collector.
a. Tax collectors were considered traitors. They were hated and probably corrupt (in general)
b. When Matthew decided to follow Jesus, he discovered a purpose for his life. He introduced his friends to Jesus.
*** It is in the context of forgiveness and purpose found in Jesus that empty lives are filled. Lives that are “desert,” “parched,” “wilderness” blossomed when Jesus came.
II. “Weak” people were given strength (v 3)
A. “Weak” behavior is learned.
1. It is a matter of perspective in a “look out for number one” world.
2. We learn to be selfish as we fight for what we think is ours.
B. The world’s version of the Beatitudes:
1. The poor in spirit have nothing. (Jesus: theirs is the kingdom of heaven.)
2. Those who mourn are just whiners. (Jesus: will be comforted.)
3. The meek will get trampled by the aggressive. (Jesus: will inherit the earth.)
4. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are dangerous radicals. (Jesus: will be filled.)
5. Those who are merciful can’t turn their backs or they will get hurt. (Jesus: will be shown mercy.)
6. The pure in heart have no fun. (Jesus: will see God.)
7. The peace makers are just cowards. (Jesus: will be called the “sons of God.”)
8. Those persecuted because of righteousness deserve it. After all they are politically incorrect. (Jesus: their’s is the kingdom of heaven.)
The Christian view of “weakness” according to the Bible is, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)
*** Strength is not about what you have. It’s about who you have.
III. Fear was lost to the truth (v 4)
A. Definition of “fear.”
1. “1 an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm. 2 the likelihood of something unwelcome happening. >verb 1 be afraid of. 2 (fear for) be anxious about. 3 archaic regard (God) with reverence and awe.” (Oxford University Press)
a. Fear is one of the most powerful emotions, it gets our attention immediately.
b. Fear is one of the most captivating emotions, it fills our thoughts and can cause us to “shut down.”
2. However, fear is not completely “negative.”
a. It can move us to action in times of danger.
b. It can warn us of potentially dangerous/stupid action.
B. Jesus taught us the difference between fear and being afraid.
1. Jesus said, “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.  But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” (Luke 12:4 – 5)
a. The real danger is not physical, which is what we tend to focus on.
b. The real danger is spiritual, a literal, physical, eternal hell because of not being in a saving, loving, and right, relationship with Jesus.
c. This is fear that can change our course of action/life for the good.
2. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
a. With the peace Jesus gives, there is no reason to be afraid.
b. There are a couple of marks of having a saving, loving, and right relationship with Jesus such as love and joy. But an important one is peace. If you do not have peace with God, maybe God is trying to tell you something is wrong or missing.
*** Knowing who to fear is a matter of trust. When we trust Jesus then nothing will cause us to be afraid.