Psalm 72:1–7; Psalm 72:18–19; Isaiah 11:1–10; Matthew 3:1–12; Romans 15:4–13
Give the King Your Justice
72 Give the king your rjustice, O God,
and your righteousness to the royal son!
2 May he sjudge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice!
3 Let the mountains bear tprosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness!
4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the children of the needy,
and crush the oppressor!
5 May they fear you1 while uthe sun endures,
and as long as the moon, vthroughout all generations!
6 May he be like wrain that falls on xthe mown grass,
like yshowers that water the earth!
7 In his days may zthe righteous flourish,
and apeace abound, till the moon be no more!
18 uBlessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone does vwondrous things.
19 Blessed be his wglorious name forever;
may xthe whole earth be filled with his glory!
yAmen and Amen!
The Righteous Reign of the Branch
11 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of lJesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
2 And mthe Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
nHe shall not judge by owhat his eyes see,
or decide disputes by owhat his ears hear,
4 but pwith righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall qstrike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and rwith the breath of his lips she shall kill the wicked.
5 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and tfaithfulness the belt of his loins.
6 uThe wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.
7 The cow and the bear shall graze;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
9 uThey shall not hurt or destroy
in all vmy holy mountain;
wfor the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
10 In that day xthe root of yJesse, who shall stand as za signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
3 hIn those days iJohn the Baptist came preaching in jthe wilderness of Judea, 2 k“Repent, for lthe kingdom of heaven is at hand.”1 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,
m“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
n‘Prepare2 the way of the Lord;
make his paths straight.’”
4 Now John wore oa garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was plocusts and qwild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, 6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, rconfessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of sthe Pharisees and tSadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, u“You brood of vvipers! Who warned you to flee from wthe wrath to come? 8 Bear fruit xin keeping with repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, y‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from zthese stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. aEvery tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 b“I baptize you with water cfor repentance, but dhe who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you ewith the Holy Spirit and ffire. 12 His gwinnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and hgather his wheat into the barn, ibut the chaff he will burn with junquenchable fire.”
4 For xwhatever was written in former days was written for our yinstruction, that through endurance and through zthe encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you ato live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify bthe God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
Christ the Hope of Jews and Gentiles
8 For I tell you that Christ cbecame a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order dto confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in order ethat the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,
f“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles,
and sing to your name.”
10 And again it is said,
g“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”
11 And again,
h“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
and let all the peoples extol him.”
12 And again Isaiah says,
ij“The root of Jesse will come,
even he who arises to rule the Gentiles;
kin him will the Gentiles hope.”
13 May the God of hope fill you with all ljoy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.