Isaiah 40:1–11; Psalm 85; 1 Corinthians 4:1–5; Matthew 11:2–11

Comfort for God's People

40  zComfort, comfort my people, says your God.

aSpeak tenderly to Jerusalem,

and cry to her

that bher warfare1 is ended,

that her iniquity is pardoned,

that she has received from the Lord's hand

double for all her sins.

cA voice cries:2

dIn the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;

emake straight in the desert a highway for our God.

fEvery valley shall be lifted up,

and every mountain and hill be made low;

the uneven ground shall become level,

and the rough places a plain.

gAnd the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,

and all flesh shall see it together,

hfor the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

The Word of God Stands Forever

A voice says, Cry!

And I said,3 What shall I cry?

iAll flesh is grass,

and all its beauty4 is like the flower of the field.

The grass withers, the flower fades

when the breath of the Lord blows on it;

surely the people are grass.

jThe grass withers, the flower fades,

but the word of our God will stand forever.

The Greatness of God

Go on up to a high mountain,

O Zion, kherald of good news;5

lift up your voice with strength,

O Jerusalem, herald of good news;6

lift it up, fear not;

say to the cities of Judah,

Behold your God!

10  lBehold, the Lord God comes with might,

and his arm rules for him;

mbehold, his reward is with him,

and his recompense before him.

11  nHe will tend his flock like a shepherd;

ohe will gather the lambs in his arms;

phe will carry them in his bosom,

and gently lead those that are with young.


Revive Us Again

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of nthe Sons of Korah.

85  Lord, you were ofavorable to your land;

you prestored the fortunes of Jacob.

You qforgave the iniquity of your people;

you qcovered all their sin. Selah

You withdrew all your wrath;

you rturned from your hot anger.

sRestore us again, O God of our salvation,

and put away your indignation toward us!

tWill you be angry with us forever?

Will you prolong your anger to all generations?

Will you not urevive us again,

that your people may vrejoice in you?

Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,

and grant us your salvation.

wLet me hear what God the Lord will speak,

for he will xspeak peace to his people, to his ysaints;

but let them not zturn back to afolly.

Surely his bsalvation is near to those who fear him,

that cglory may dwell in our land.

10  dSteadfast love and faithfulness meet;

erighteousness and peace kiss each other.

11  Faithfulness springs up from the ground,

and righteousness looks down from the sky.

12  Yes, fthe Lord will give what is good,

and our land gwill yield its increase.

13  hRighteousness will go before him

and make his footsteps a way.


The Ministry of Apostles

This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and nstewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. oFor I am not aware of anything against myself, pbut I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore qdo not pronounce judgment before the time, rbefore the Lord comes, swho will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. tThen each one will receive his commendation from God.


eNow when John heard fin prison about the deeds of gthe Christ, he sent word by hhis disciples and said to him, Are you ithe one who is to come, or shall we jlook for another? And Jesus answered them, Go and tell John what you hear and see: kthe blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers1 are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and lthe poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who mis not offended by me.

As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: What did you go out ninto the wilderness to see? oA reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man2 dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. What then did you go out to see? pA prophet?3 Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is he of whom it is written,

qBehold, I send my messenger before your face,

who will prepare your way before you.

11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.