Blog 8: Comparing Matthew 3:2 to Isaiah 40:3

I rather jump around in Bible studies, don’t I? I started with how John the Baptist looks and why that might be important, what sort of image we should build from that description. I don’t go verse by verse but try to follow where the words and Holy Spirit spark at me, as in praying Lectio Divina style. So the last blog was the first verse of Matthew 3:1-12. Now let’s look at the second verse: This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’”

The Isaiah is 40:3 “A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord. Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” I mention his because in the last bible study that I led at church many folks were surprised that when something like this is in the New Testament it is referring us to a specific place in the Hebrew Scriptures. The bible Jesus knew, the word He preached was the Hebrew Scriptures. That’s pretty amazing and interesting — think how many people have read these words, grown from these words, loved (or not) these words. And it gets even more interesting if Jesus or the writer changes the wording.

There seems perhaps a subtle change in the verses, from “our God” to “the Lord” (and that referring I would think to Jesus). An opening up? A change I think. Please feel free to disagree!

The part of this verse that leaps at me is the “make his paths straight” / “Make straight in the desert a highway”. I’ll go into that soon!

Happy Easter! He is Risen!


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