The Son Who Is Given
Passage: Isaiah 9:1–9:7
"Then in despair I bowed my head/'There is no peace on earth,' I said/For hate is strong and mocks the song/Of peace on earth, goodwill to men." These words of Longfellow still ring true in our world. Yet the promise persists: Jesus is the Prince of Peace, so "those walking in darkness can see the light ahead and are sustained by hope" (Alec Motyer). As we saw in Ephesians, Jesus has already accomplished for us peace with God and with each other. We still away, however, peace in the world. Dale Ralph Davis reminds us that Jesus is the Prince of Peace in this ultimate sense too: "Peace comes in the wake of victory, when all opposition is taken out of the way. 'Prince of peace' then does not mean that the prince is peaceful but that he has the power to bring and enforce peace, even in a world where many don't care to have it." Even so, come Lord Jesus.
1. What part of the text or sermon had the greatest impact on you? Where were you most encouraged, intrigued, challenged?
2. Read Isaiah 8:11-22, focusing on verses 19 and 20. We may not be looking to mediums and necromancers to answer life's questions, but where do we inquire? Where do we look for answers to the important questions in our life?
3. How can we grow in looking "to the teaching and to the testimony" of God? How can we help each other in this?
4. Share a time when you walked "in deep darkness" and yet God gave you light. These are little examples that parallel God's great salvation of his people in Christ. This what Christ regularly does: he saves his people. Remember Psalm 23, which speaks similarly.
5. Verse 3 says, "they rejoice before you." Spend some time rejoicing before the Lord (in prayer, in song, in conversation, etc.).
6. Pray for those who still walk in darkness and do not know "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6).
Monday - Matthew 1:1-17
Tuesday - Matthew 1:18-25
Wednesday - Matthew 2:1-12
Thursday - Matthew 2:13-23
Friday - Matthew 27:11-56
Saturday - Matthew 27:57-28:20
Sunday - Matthew 28:16-20