Adv2A19. Isaiah 11:1-10. The chapter before this in Isaiah describes the destruction and conquest wrought by the Assyrian army over a substantial part of Israel. God used Assyria to punish his sinful people. Chapter 11 looks forward to a future time when God will restore his just rule by raising up a ruler from the line of Jesse, David’s father. The new ruler shall have the spirit of Lord so to make of Israel a new creation, the sinful Israel having been annihilated by the invaders and even the new ruler himself. Faithful to the Lord, he will be just and gracious as the Lord is just and gracious. “There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for all the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the Lord, as water cover the sea.” “For his dwelling shall be (so) glorious” that “the Gentiles shall seek (it) out.”
Matthew 3:1-12. In fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy, “A voice of one crying out in the desert, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths,” “John the Baptist appeared to make the people ready for Jesus. John said of Jesus, “He will baptize you with Holy Spirit and fire; whereas “I am baptizing you with water” only. John’ water cleanses whereas Jesus’ fire purifies and refines like gold in a furnace. As “wheat is gathered into the barn”, he will gather those who are truly repentant of their sins in heaven. Also as the chaff is burned, in his “coming wrath” so too “he will burn with an unquenchable fire” those who do not repent. In effect he is telling us also, “Bear good fruit (or we) will be cut down and thrown into the fire” that gets rid of all who are worthless because of sin.
Romans 15:4-9. Paul commends to his readers the strength and resolution of spirit to face the difficulties of bringing Christ to a world that is so self-centered, materialistic and in denial of eternal truth so to live just for the day and the moment. The Scriptures help us to build that endurance and courage that give us hope that the final victory belongs to those who belong to Christ. To give glory to Jesus and his salvific work requires his followers to think in harmony and be of one accord so to speak with one, unified voice. What was promised to the patriarchs belongs to all, even the Gentiles. Jews and Gentiles unite in the Messiah himself.