Sermon on Isaiah 35:1-10 & Matthew 11:2-6 for the 3rd Sunday in Advent, about the desert being turned into salvation, and about Jesus fulfilling the signs of the Messiah.
Sermon Talking Points: Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com Listen to audio at: https://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com
1. How was turning the land into a desert or wasteland a divine punishment in the Old Testament? Leviticus 26:14ff, esp. vs. 19-20, 32-33, but also 40-45. Psalm 107:33-34. How is it’s “re-greening” a blessing? Psalm 107:35-38; Isaiah 43:18-21; 58:11. How does this “re-greening” come about? Who arrives on the scene when this happens?
2. What signs from Isaiah 35 and 61 became proof to John the Baptist that Jesus was the promised Messiah described in those prophecies, and that He was the God who came to save us? What additional signs did Jesus perform? How did these establish who He was?
3. Through that desert that was being transformed into a garden, Isaiah pictures a highway called the Way of Holiness. Cf. Isaiah 11:12, 16; 51:10-11. Who travels on this highway, and who doesn’t? How does one get to travel on this highway?
4. How is our heart like a desert? What does Isaiah 35 show us about what God can do for the condition of the human heart? Where does the Way of Holiness lead to? Isaiah 35:10. What blessings do those who travel there enjoy? How do those come to fullest expression in heaven?
5. How can our arrival in heaven be described as a “return?” What are the glimpses of joy that you get in this life? Why does joy not always last in this life? How will that be different in heaven, and why? Instead of using our breath for sighing from grief, how will it be used in heaven?
6. How can it be that sorrow and sighing will be gone? How is the joy of heaven secured for all believers?