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.”