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Devotion for the Commemoration of the Prophet Isaiah

Today we commemorate the prophet Isaiah, the most-quoted pre-Christ prophet in the New Testament. Our devotion comes from Treasury of Daily Prayer.

Devotional Reading

Isaiah the prophet was born of the tribe of Judah, and for this reason he calls the Lord Jesus his cousin. His name means "the salvation of the Lord." He wrote a marvelously beautiful account of the Savior of the world.

Mary must have been reading the seventh chapter, on the virgin mother of Jesus, when the angel Gabriel came to her. The forty-third, fifty-third, and sixty-third chapters shine forth from this book like pure jewels.

Jerome said, "To me, Isaiah seems to have composed not a prophecy, but a Gospel." Augustine said, "He could be better called an evangelist than a prophet." In his youth, Augustine asked the bishop Ambrose for advice on what book in the Bible to read first. Ambrose replied that he should begin with Isaiah, since Isaiah would supersede all the others in his prophecies of Christ. . . .

Isaiah, the son of Amoz, is considered to be the greatest of the writing prophets and is quoted in the New Testament more than any other Old Testament prophet. His name means "Yahweh [the LORD] saves."

Isaiah prophesied to the people of Jerusalem and Judah from about 740 BC to 700 BC and was a contemporary of the prophets Amos, Hosea, and Micah. Isaiah was a fierce preacher of God's Law, condemning the sin of idolatry. 

He was also a comforting proclaimer of the Gospel, repeatedly emphasizing God's grace and forgiveness. For this he is sometimes called the Evangelist of the Old Testament. No prophet more clearly prophesied about the coming Messiah and His saving kingdom.

Isaiah foretold not only the Messiah's miraculous birth (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6), His endless reign (Isaiah 2:1–5; 11:1–16), and His public ministry (Isaiah 61:1–3), but most notably His Suffering Servant role and atoning death (Isaiah 52:13–53:12). The apostle John's description of Isaiah, that Isaiah saw Jesus' glory and spoke of Him (John 12:41), is an apt summary of his prophetic ministry.

Prayer

Lord God, heavenly Father, through the prophet Isaiah, You continued the prophetic pattern of teaching Your people the true faith and demonstrating through miracles Your presence in creation to heal it of its brokenness. Grant that Your Church may see in Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the final end-times prophet whose teaching and miracles continue in Your Church through the healing medicine of the Gospel and the Sacraments; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. 

Devotional reading and prayer are from Treasury of Daily Prayer, pages 497–99 © 2008 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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