Prepare the Way for the Lord
(Matthew 3:1–12; Mark 1:1–8; Luke 3:1–20; John 1:19–28)
1“Comfort, comfort My people,”
says your God.
2“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her
that her forced labor has been completed;
her iniquity has been pardoned.
For she has received from the hand of the Lord
double for all her sins.”
3A voice of one calling:
“Prepare the way for the Lord in the wilderness;#40:3 Or A voice of one calling in the wilderness: “Prepare the way for the Lord
make a straight highway for our God in the desert.#40:3 LXX make straight the paths of our God; cited in Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:3, Luke 3:4, and John 1:23
4Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill made low;
the uneven ground will become smooth,
and the rugged land a plain.#40:4 LXX Every valley shall be filled in, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low. All the crooked ways shall become straight, and the rough places plains. Cited in Luke 3:5
5And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all humanity together will see it.#40:5 Literally and all flesh together will see it. Cited in Luke 3:6
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
The Enduring Word
(1 Peter 1:22–25)
6A voice says, “Cry out!”
And I asked, “What should I cry out?”
“All flesh is like grass,
and all its glory like the flowers of the field.
7The grass withers and the flowers fall
when the breath of the Lord blows on them;
indeed, the people are grass.
8The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever.”#40:8 Cited in 1 Peter 1:24–25
Here Is Your God!
9Go up on a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news.
Raise your voice loudly,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news.
Lift it up,#40:9 Or O herald of good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. O herald of good news to Jerusalem, lift it up,
do not be afraid!
Say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
10Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might,
and His arm establishes His rule.
His reward is with Him,
and His recompense accompanies Him.
11He tends His flock like a shepherd;
He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them close to His heart.
He gently leads the nursing ewes.
12Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or marked off the heavens with the span of his hand?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on a scale
and the hills with a balance?
13Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,#40:13 Or mind of the Lord; see also LXX.
or informed Him as His counselor?#40:13 Cited in Romans 11:34 and 1 Corinthians 2:16
14Whom did He consult to enlighten Him,
and who taught Him the paths of justice?
Who imparted knowledge to Him
and showed Him the way of understanding?
15Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are considered a speck of dust on the scales;
He lifts up the islands #40:15 Or coastlands like fine dust.
16Lebanon is not sufficient for fuel,
nor its animals enough for a burnt offering.
17All the nations are as nothing before Him;
He regards them as nothingness and emptiness.
18To whom will you liken God?
To what image will you compare Him?
19To an idol that a craftsman casts
and a metalworker overlays with gold
and fits with silver chains?
20To one bereft of an offering
who chooses wood that will not rot,
who seeks a skilled craftsman
to set up an idol that will not topple?
21Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?
Have you not understood since the foundation of the earth?
22He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth;
its dwellers are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
23He brings the princes to nothing
and makes the rulers #40:23 Or judges of the earth meaningless.
24No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown,
no sooner have their stems taken root in the ground,
than He blows on them and they wither,
and a whirlwind sweeps them away like stubble.
25“To whom will you liken Me,
or who is My equal?” asks the Holy One.
26Lift up your eyes on high:
Who created all these?
He leads forth the starry host by number;
He calls each one by name.
Because of His great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
27Why do you say, O Jacob,
and why do you assert, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my claim is ignored by my God”?
28Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary;
His understanding is beyond searching out.
29He gives power to the faint
and increases the strength of the weak.
30Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall.
31But those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength;
they will mount up with wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not faint.