July 29 (Daily reading: Isaiah 49-53) Twelve prophecies in today’s reading are quoted in the New Testament. We will look at two themes; the first, about belief, is developed by John and Paul. Isaiah wrote, “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” (Is. 53:1; quotes are from the NKJV). John quoted this verse (Jn. 12:38) after stating that the people did not believe in Jesus despite his many miracles. He then added, “This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah” (that the people would not believe). Paul also quoted Isaiah 53:1, but he set it up by quoting Isaiah 52:7, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news.” He then wrote, “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, ‘LORD, who has believed our report?’ So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:16-17). Whoever believes, and “calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13).
When Peter wrote 1 Peter 2:21-25, he could have had a copy of Isaiah in front of him. He developed the theme of Christ’s death on the cross, citing Isaiah, “(He) Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree … by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Pet. 2:24). We are to follow in his steps, as Peter quoted Isaiah, “(He) committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth” (1 Pet. 2:22). Peter alluded to Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, everyone, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Peter wrote: “For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Pet. 2:21-25). Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own” (Jn. 10:14).
– Al Gary