Isaiah 55 & Matthew 3

Isaiah 55

    “Come, everyone who thirsts,
        come to the waters;
    and he who has no money,
        come, buy and eat!
    Come, buy wine and milk
        without money and without price.
    Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
        and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
    Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
        and delight yourselves in rich food.
    Incline your ear, and come to me;
        hear, that your soul may live;
    and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
        my steadfast, sure love for David.
    Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,
        a leader and commander for the peoples.
    Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
        and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
    because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
        for he has glorified you.
    
    
    “Seek the LORD while he may be found;
        call upon him while he is near;
    let the wicked forsake his way,
        and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
    let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,
        and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
    For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
        neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
    For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
        so are my ways higher than your ways
        and my thoughts than your thoughts.
    
    
    “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
        and do not return there but water the earth,
    making it bring forth and sprout,
        giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
    so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
        it shall not return to me empty,
    but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
        and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
    
    
    “For you shall go out in joy
        and be led forth in peace;
    the mountains and the hills before you
        shall break forth into singing,
        and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
    Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
        instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
    and it shall make a name for the LORD,
        an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
    

(Isaiah 55 ESV)

Matthew 3

    In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,

    “The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
    ‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
        make his paths straight.’”
    
    
        Now John wore a garment of camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

    But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

    “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

    Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

(Matthew 3 ESV)

Matthew 3: Isaiah was an Old Testament prophet who lived some 600 years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Through the revelation given to him directly from God, he often spoke of a future Servant chosen by God that would be the creation’s only hope for restoration and reconciliation with its Creator. Isaiah writes that God would “delight” in His Chosen Servant and that God would “put His Spirit upon Him” (Isaiah 42:1).

At the baptism of Jesus, we clearly see God’s confirmation on Jesus as that Chosen Servant who was now here to bring the promised restoration and reconciliation for God’s people. The long awaited Messiah is here, the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and John’s baptism of Jesus is the inauguration of Jesus‘ mission to provide salvation from man’s sinful condition.

The Spirit of God descends upon Jesus anointing Him as our triumphant King and as the promised Messiah. The voice from heaven, God the Father, confirms Jesus’ identity as the eternal Son of God who has always existed with God and is one with God through God’s mysterious triune nature. God delights in His Son, and He is greatly pleased to place this mission of salvation into His holy hands.