Comfort for God’s People

40 Comfort, comfort(A) my people,
    says your God.
Speak tenderly(B) to Jerusalem,
    and proclaim to her
that her hard service(C) has been completed,(D)
    that her sin has been paid for,(E)
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
    double(F) for all her sins.

A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
    the way(G) for the Lord[a];
make straight(H) in the desert
    a highway for our God.[b](I)
Every valley shall be raised up,(J)
    every mountain and hill(K) made low;
the rough ground shall become level,(L)
    the rugged places a plain.
And the glory(M) of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.(N)
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”(O)

A voice says, “Cry out.”
    And I said, “What shall I cry?”

“All people are like grass,(P)
    and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers(Q) and the flowers fall,
    because the breath(R) of the Lord blows(S) on them.
    Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers(T) fall,
    but the word(U) of our God endures(V) forever.(W)

You who bring good news(X) to Zion,
    go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem,[c](Y)
    lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
    say to the towns of Judah,
    “Here is your God!”(Z)
10 See, the Sovereign Lord comes(AA) with power,(AB)
    and he rules(AC) with a mighty arm.(AD)
See, his reward(AE) is with him,
    and his recompense accompanies him.
11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:(AF)
    He gathers the lambs in his arms(AG)
and carries them close to his heart;(AH)
    he gently leads(AI) those that have young.(AJ)

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Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 40:3 Or A voice of one calling in the wilderness: / “Prepare the way for the Lord
  2. Isaiah 40:3 Hebrew; Septuagint make straight the paths of our God
  3. Isaiah 40:9 Or Zion, bringer of good news, / go up on a high mountain. / Jerusalem, bringer of good news

John the Baptist Prepares the Way(A)

The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah,[a] the Son of God,[b](B) as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way”[c](C)
“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.’”[d](D)

And so John the Baptist(E) appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance(F) for the forgiveness of sins.(G) The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist,(H) and he ate locusts(I) and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.(J) I baptize you with[e] water, but he will baptize you with[f] the Holy Spirit.”(K)

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Footnotes

  1. Mark 1:1 Or Jesus Christ. Messiah (Hebrew) and Christ (Greek) both mean Anointed One.
  2. Mark 1:1 Some manuscripts do not have the Son of God.
  3. Mark 1:2 Mal. 3:1
  4. Mark 1:3 Isaiah 40:3
  5. Mark 1:8 Or in
  6. Mark 1:8 Or in