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Isaiah 60The Message (MSG)

People Returning for the Reunion

60 1-7 “Get out of bed, Jerusalem!
    Wake up. Put your face in the sunlight.
    God’s bright glory has risen for you.
The whole earth is wrapped in darkness,
    all people sunk in deep darkness,
But God rises on you,
    his sunrise glory breaks over you.
Nations will come to your light,
    kings to your sunburst brightness.
Look up! Look around!
    Watch as they gather, watch as they approach you:
Your sons coming from great distances,
    your daughters carried by their nannies.
When you see them coming you’ll smile—big smiles!
    Your heart will swell and, yes, burst!
All those people returning by sea for the reunion,
    a rich harvest of exiles gathered in from the nations!
And then streams of camel caravans as far as the eye can see,
    young camels of nomads in Midian and Ephah,
Pouring in from the south from Sheba,
    loaded with gold and frankincense,
    preaching the praises of God.
And yes, a great roundup
    of flocks from the nomads in Kedar and Nebaioth,
Welcome gifts for worship at my altar
    as I bathe my glorious Temple in splendor.

What’s That We See in the Distance?

8-22 “What’s that we see in the distance,
    a cloud on the horizon, like doves darkening the sky?
It’s ships from the distant islands,
    the famous Tarshish ships
Returning your children from faraway places,
    loaded with riches, with silver and gold,
And backed by the name of your God, The Holy of Israel,
    showering you with splendor.
Foreigners will rebuild your walls,
    and their kings assist you in the conduct of worship.
When I was angry I hit you hard.
    It’s my desire now to be tender.
Your Jerusalem gates will always be open
    —open house day and night!—
Receiving deliveries of wealth from all nations,
    and their kings, the delivery boys!
Any nation or kingdom that doesn’t deliver will perish;
    those nations will be totally wasted.
The rich woods of Lebanon will be delivered
    —all that cypress and oak and pine—
To give a splendid elegance to my Sanctuary,
    as I make my footstool glorious.
The descendants of your oppressor
    will come bowing and scraping to you.
All who looked down at you in contempt
    will lick your boots.
They’ll confer a title on you: City of God,
    Zion of The Holy of Israel.
Not long ago you were despised refuse—
    out-of-the-way, unvisited, ignored.
But now I’ve put you on your feet,
    towering and grand forever, a joy to look at!
When you suck the milk of nations
    and the breasts of royalty,
You’ll know that I, God, am your Savior,
    your Redeemer, Champion of Jacob.
I’ll give you only the best—no more hand-me-downs!
    Gold instead of bronze, silver instead of iron,
    bronze instead of wood, iron instead of stones.
I’ll install Peace to run your country,
    make Righteousness your boss.
There’ll be no more stories of crime in your land,
    no more robberies, no more vandalism.
You’ll name your main street Salvation Way,
    and install Praise Park at the center of town.
You’ll have no more need of the sun by day
    nor the brightness of the moon at night.
God will be your eternal light,
    your God will bathe you in splendor.
Your sun will never go down,
    your moon will never fade.
I will be your eternal light.
    Your days of grieving are over.
All your people will live right and well,
    in permanent possession of the land.
They’re the green shoot that I planted,
    planted with my own hands to display my glory.
The runt will become a great tribe,
    the weakling become a strong nation.
I am God.
    At the right time I’ll make it happen.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Isaiah 61The Message (MSG)

Announce Freedom to All Captives

61 1-7 The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me
    because God anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor,
    heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives,
    pardon all prisoners.
God sent me to announce the year of his grace—
    a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies—
    and to comfort all who mourn,
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
    give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
    a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness”
    planted by God to display his glory.
They’ll rebuild the old ruins,
    raise a new city out of the wreckage.
They’ll start over on the ruined cities,
    take the rubble left behind and make it new.
You’ll hire outsiders to herd your flocks
    and foreigners to work your fields,
But you’ll have the title “Priests of God,”
    honored as ministers of our God.
You’ll feast on the bounty of nations,
    you’ll bask in their glory.
Because you got a double dose of trouble
    and more than your share of contempt,
Your inheritance in the land will be doubled
    and your joy go on forever.

8-9 “Because I, God, love fair dealing
    and hate thievery and crime,
I’ll pay your wages on time and in full,
    and establish my eternal covenant with you.
Your descendants will become well-known all over.
    Your children in foreign countries
Will be recognized at once
    as the people I have blessed.”

10-11 I will sing for joy in God,
    explode in praise from deep in my soul!
He dressed me up in a suit of salvation,
    he outfitted me in a robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom who puts on a tuxedo
    and a bride a jeweled tiara.
For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers,
    and as a garden cascades with blossoms,
So the Master, God, brings righteousness into full bloom
    and puts praise on display before the nations.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Isaiah 62The Message (MSG)

Look, Your Savior Comes!

62 1-5 Regarding Zion, I can’t keep my mouth shut,
    regarding Jerusalem, I can’t hold my tongue,
Until her righteousness blazes down like the sun
    and her salvation flames up like a torch.
Foreign countries will see your righteousness,
    and world leaders your glory.
You’ll get a brand-new name
    straight from the mouth of God.
You’ll be a stunning crown in the palm of God’s hand,
    a jeweled gold cup held high in the hand of your God.
No more will anyone call you Rejected,
    and your country will no more be called Ruined.
You’ll be called Hephzibah (My Delight),
    and your land Beulah (Married),
Because God delights in you
    and your land will be like a wedding celebration.
For as a young man marries his virgin bride,
    so your builder marries you,
And as a bridegroom is happy in his bride,
    so your God is happy with you.

6-7 I’ve posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem.
    Day and night they keep at it, praying, calling out,
    reminding God to remember.
They are to give him no peace until he does what he said,
    until he makes Jerusalem famous as the City of Praise.

8-9 God has taken a solemn oath,
    an oath he means to keep:
“Never again will I open your grain-filled barns
    to your enemies to loot and eat.
Never again will foreigners drink the wine
    that you worked so hard to produce.
No. The farmers who grow the food will eat the food
    and praise God for it.
And those who make the wine will drink the wine
    in my holy courtyards.”

10-12 Walk out of the gates. Get going!
    Get the road ready for the people.
Build the highway. Get at it!
    Clear the debris,
    hoist high a flag, a signal to all peoples!
Yes! God has broadcast to all the world:
    “Tell daughter Zion, ‘Look! Your Savior comes,
Ready to do what he said he’d do,
    prepared to complete what he promised.’”
Zion will be called new names: Holy People, God-Redeemed,
    Sought-Out, City-Not-Forsaken.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

John 1The Message (MSG)

The Life-Light

1-2 The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
    God present to the Word.
The Word was God,
    in readiness for God from day one.

3-5 Everything was created through him;
    nothing—not one thing!—
    came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
    and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
    the darkness couldn’t put it out.

6-8 There once was a man, his name John, sent by God to point out the way to the Life-Light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in. John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light.

9-13 The Life-Light was the real thing:
    Every person entering Life
    he brings into Light.
He was in the world,
    the world was there through him,
    and yet the world didn’t even notice.
He came to his own people,
    but they didn’t want him.
But whoever did want him,
    who believed he was who he claimed
    and would do what he said,
He made to be their true selves,
    their child-of-God selves.
These are the God-begotten,
    not blood-begotten,
    not flesh-begotten,
    not sex-begotten.

14 The Word became flesh and blood,
    and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
    the one-of-a-kind glory,
    like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
    true from start to finish.

15 John pointed him out and called, “This is the One! The One I told you was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word.”

16-18 We all live off his generous bounty,
        gift after gift after gift.
    We got the basics from Moses,
        and then this exuberant giving and receiving,
    This endless knowing and understanding—
        all this came through Jesus, the Messiah.
    No one has ever seen God,
        not so much as a glimpse.
    This one-of-a-kind God-Expression,
        who exists at the very heart of the Father,
        has made him plain as day.

Thunder in the Desert

19-20 When Jews from Jerusalem sent a group of priests and officials to ask John who he was, he was completely honest. He didn’t evade the question. He told the plain truth: “I am not the Messiah.”

21 They pressed him, “Who, then? Elijah?”

“I am not.”

“The Prophet?”

“No.”

22 Exasperated, they said, “Who, then? We need an answer for those who sent us. Tell us something—anything!—about yourself.”

23 “I’m thunder in the desert: ‘Make the road straight for God!’ I’m doing what the prophet Isaiah preached.”

24-25 Those sent to question him were from the Pharisee party. Now they had a question of their own: “If you’re neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet, why do you baptize?”

26-27 John answered, “I only baptize using water. A person you don’t recognize has taken his stand in your midst. He comes after me, but he is not in second place to me. I’m not even worthy to hold his coat for him.”

28 These conversations took place in Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing at the time.

The God-Revealer

29-31 The very next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and yelled out, “Here he is, God’s Passover Lamb! He forgives the sins of the world! This is the man I’ve been talking about, ‘the One who comes after me but is really ahead of me.’ I knew nothing about who he was—only this: that my task has been to get Israel ready to recognize him as the God-Revealer. That is why I came here baptizing with water, giving you a good bath and scrubbing sins from your life so you can get a fresh start with God.”

32-34 John clinched his witness with this: “I watched the Spirit, like a dove flying down out of the sky, making himself at home in him. I repeat, I know nothing about him except this: The One who authorized me to baptize with water told me, ‘The One on whom you see the Spirit come down and stay, this One will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ That’s exactly what I saw happen, and I’m telling you, there’s no question about it: This is the Son of God.”

Come, See for Yourself

35-36 The next day John was back at his post with two disciples, who were watching. He looked up, saw Jesus walking nearby, and said, “Here he is, God’s Passover Lamb.”

37-38 The two disciples heard him and went after Jesus. Jesus looked over his shoulder and said to them, “What are you after?”

They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”

39 He replied, “Come along and see for yourself.”

They came, saw where he was living, and ended up staying with him for the day. It was late afternoon when this happened.

40-42 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard John’s witness and followed Jesus. The first thing he did after finding where Jesus lived was find his own brother, Simon, telling him, “We’ve found the Messiah” (that is, “Christ”). He immediately led him to Jesus.

Jesus took one look up and said, “You’re John’s son, Simon? From now on your name is Cephas” (or Peter, which means “Rock”).

43-44 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. When he got there, he ran across Philip and said, “Come, follow me.” (Philip’s hometown was Bethsaida, the same as Andrew and Peter.)

45-46 Philip went and found Nathanael and told him, “We’ve found the One Moses wrote of in the Law, the One preached by the prophets. It’s Jesus, Joseph’s son, the one from Nazareth!” Nathanael said, “Nazareth? You’ve got to be kidding.”

But Philip said, “Come, see for yourself.”

47 When Jesus saw him coming he said, “There’s a real Israelite, not a false bone in his body.”

48 Nathanael said, “Where did you get that idea? You don’t know me.”

Jesus answered, “One day, long before Philip called you here, I saw you under the fig tree.”

49 Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi! You are the Son of God, the King of Israel!”

50-51 Jesus said, “You’ve become a believer simply because I say I saw you one day sitting under the fig tree? You haven’t seen anything yet! Before this is over you’re going to see heaven open and God’s angels descending to the Son of Man and ascending again.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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