Scriptures

The Gospel According To Isaiah

Introduction

1. Undoubtedly you have heard of the four Gospels.

a. The Gospel according to Matthew
b. The Gospel according to Mark
c. The gospel according to Luke
d. The Gospel according to John

But have you heard of the Gospel according to Isaiah?

2. Preaching the Gospel of Christ, it wasn’t uncommon for the apostles and others in the first century to refer to the Old Testament.

a. It was Paul’s custom

‘When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. ‘This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ,’ he said.’ Acts 17:1-3

b. Apollos did the same at Corinth

‘When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.’ Acts 18:27-28

3. That was because elements of the gospel were foretold by Old Testament prophets.

a. Concerning the coming of the Messiah
b. Concerning the establishment of His kingdom

4. One such prophet was Isaiah.

a. Who lived 750 years before Christ
b. Who was sent to prophesy to Judah and Jerusalem

‘The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.’ Isaiah 1:1

5. Isaiah’s book contains so many prophecies regarding the Messiah and His kingdom.

a. He is often called ‘the Messianic prophet’.
b. We could call his book ‘The gospel according to Isaiah’.

To illustrate my point, let’s review some of the prophecies found in the Book of Isaiah.

1. The Gospel of the Messiah

a. Good news about the man.

1. He will be born of a virgin

a. Whose name will be Immanuel (‘God with us’)

‘Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.’ Isaiah 7:14

b. Fulfilled with the birth of Jesus by Mary

‘This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’-which means, ‘God with us.’ Matthew 1:18-23

2. He will be a wonderful Child

a. With an amazing name(s), destined to reign

‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.’ Isaiah 9:6-7

b. Announced by the angels at Jesus’ birth

‘Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’ Luke 2:11

3. He will be of the family of David (Jesse)

a. Descending from the ‘stem of Jesse’ (David’s father)

‘A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots, a Branch will bear fruit.’ Isaiah 11:1

b. Jesus’ lineage shown in Matthew 1 (via Joseph) and Luke 3 (via Mary)

4. The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon Him

a. With wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, knowledge and fear of the Lord

‘The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him–the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.’ Isaiah 11:2

b. Visibly manifested at His baptism by John

‘As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.’ Matthew 3:16

B. Good news about His ministry.

1. He will be preceded by a forerunner

a. One sent to prepare the way

‘A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’ Isaiah 40:3-5

b. Fulfilled with the ministry of John the Baptist

‘In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.’ This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: ‘A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ Matthew 3:1-3

2. He will be anointed to preach good tidings

a. To the poor, proclaiming the acceptable year of the Lord

‘The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion–to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendour.’ Isaiah 61:1-3

b. Fulfilled by His preaching in Nazareth

‘He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’ Luke 4:16-21

3. He will bring light to those living in Galilee

a. In the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali

‘Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past, he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honour Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan– The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.’ Isaiah 9:1-2

b. Fulfilled by His living and preaching in Capernaum

‘When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali- to fulfil what was said through the prophet Isaiah: ‘Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles- the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.’ Matthew 4:12-16

4. He will not advertise Himself

a. By quarrelling or crying out in the streets

‘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.’ Isaiah 42:1-3

b. Fulfilled in Jesus’ response to threats on His life

‘But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus. Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. Many followed him, and he healed all their sick, warning them not to tell who he was. This was to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: ‘Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. In his name, the nations will put their hope.’ Matthew 12:14-21

5. He will suffer in our behalf

a. Despised and rejected by men

‘Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.’ Isaiah 53:1-3

‘Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.’ John 1:12

b. His suffering and death for our sins

‘Surely, he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment, he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.’ Isaiah 53:4-8

‘This was to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: ‘He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.’ Matthew 8:17

‘He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.’ 1 Peter 2:24

c. Silent before His accusers

‘He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.’ Isaiah 53:7

‘When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, ‘Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?’ But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge-to the great amazement of the governor.’ Matthew 27:12-14

d. His grave with the wicked and the rich

‘He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.’ Isaiah 53:9

‘Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.’ Matthew 27:38

‘As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.’ Matthew 27:57-60

e. All according to God’s will, for our sins

‘Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.’ Isaiah 53:10-12

‘This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.’ Acts 2:23

‘For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men-the testimony given in its proper time.’ 1 Timothy 2:5-6

Through such vivid prophecies, Isaiah foretold the gospel of the Messiah. Note how Philip was able to make good use of Isaiah’s ‘Gospel’ in preaching Christ.

‘Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ Philip asked. ‘How can I,’ he said, ‘unless someone explains it to me?’ So, he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading: ‘He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation, he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.’ The eunuch asked Philip, ‘Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?’ Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they travelled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?’ And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.’ Acts 8:30-38

But Isaiah’s prophecies were not limited to the Messiah Himself.

‘After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’ Mark 1:14-15

Just as Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the kingdom, so did Isaiah through his prophecies.

1. The Gospel of the kingdom

a. Good news about its origin.

1. It shall come to pass in the ‘latter days’

a. The mountain of the Lord’s house will be established

‘This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.’ Isaiah 2:1-2

b. The time was fulfilled when Jesus began preaching

‘After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!’ Mark 1:14-15

2. It shall proceed from Jerusalem

a. As the Word is spread

‘Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’ The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.’ Isaiah 2:3

b. So Jesus explained, the Word must proceed from Jerusalem

‘He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’ Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.’ Luke 24:44-47

3. Good news about its nature.

1. It shall be a kingdom of peace

a. People will not learn war; its king will be the Prince of Peace

‘He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.’ Isaiah 2:4

‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.’ Isaiah 9:6-7

b. Thus the kingdom of God is one of peace

‘For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.’ Romans 14:17

2. It shall include the Gentiles

a. The Gentiles shall seek Him, in Whom they shall find justice

‘In that day, the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.’ Isaiah 11:10

‘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.’ Isaiah 42:1

‘I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles.’ Isaiah 42:6

b. Thus Jesus has united both Jew and Gentile

‘Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called ‘uncircumcised’ by those who call themselves ‘the circumcision’ (that done in the body by the hands of men) – remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.’ Ephesians 2:11-18

C. Good news about its future.

1. It shall last forever

a. Of His kingdom there shall be no end

‘Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.’ Isaiah 9:7

b. Even as the angel Gabriel pronounced to Mary

‘You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.’ Luke 1:31-33

2. It shall usher in a new heavens and new earth

a. Promised by God in terms to which Israel could relate

‘Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. ‘Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands. They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,’ says the Lord.’ Isaiah 65:17-25

‘As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,’ declares the Lord, ‘so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,’ says the Lord.’ Isaiah 66:22-23

b. A promised fully realised with the coming of Christ

‘But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.’ 2 Peter 3:10-14

‘Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ Revelation 21:1-4

Conclusion

1. Perhaps we can see why the apostles and others used the Old Testament.

a. To convince many that Jesus was the Messiah

b. To proclaim the prophecies concerning Him and His kingdom were being fulfilled

2. What is your reaction to the Gospel?

a. Foretold by the prophets centuries before Christ came?

b. Proclaimed by the apostles and preachers in the first century, A.D.?

3. My prayer and hope is that it is.

a. Similar to that of the Samaritans

‘But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.’ Acts 8:12

b. Akin to that of the Ethiopian Eunuch

‘Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ Philip asked. ‘How can I,’ he said, ‘unless someone explains it to me?’ So, he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading: ‘He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation, he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.’ The eunuch asked Philip, ‘Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?’ Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they travelled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?’ And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.’ Acts 8:30-38

Not like some of those in Rome, who had hardened their hearts!

‘They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus. Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: ‘The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors when he said through Isaiah the prophet: ‘Go to this people and say, ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.’ For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ ‘Therefore, I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!’ For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!’ Acts 28:23-31

Have You Obeyed The Gospel?

‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.’ Mark 1:15

‘And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.’ Mark 16:15-16

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

Acts 4:12

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