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Thursday, December 20—Advent Devotional 2012

We invite you to return every day during Advent for this devotional series

Listen to today’s accompanying audio track:
Then Shall The Eyes Of The Blind Be Open’d

Isaiah 35:5-6

“Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing.”


Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” It was an honest, painful question John the Baptist had for Jesus, as he sat in a prison cell (Matthew 11:3). John was sent by God to proclaim Messiah’s coming, but even prophets can have their doubts. The first prophet in 400 years to break God’s silence, now wonders if he got it all wrong. Rome still has not been crushed, and God’s enemies are still attacking. If Jesus came “to preach deliverance to captives” (Luke 4:18), then why is John the Baptist in prison?

Jesus does not scold John for his doubts, but sends this answer back to him:

Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them (Matthew 11:4-5).

Jesus answers John’s question, “are you the Messiah?” by pointing Him to today’s text from Isaiah. Jesus paraphrases Isaiah’s words about Messiah, and how he will open blind eyes, make the deaf hear, and the lame leap for joy.

Jesus said that His healing went straight to the heart of Messiah’s mission. They are a taste of God’s Kingdom coming. Jesus never did His mighty works as a gimmick to gather a crowd, but rather as a demonstration of the Kingdom of God. It is the heart of God to comfort and restore His creation.

Thus we see Jesus using kingly powers to command the dead to rise (Mark 5:41-42; Luke 7:14-15; John 11:43-44), the lame to leap (John 5:8-9; Mark 2:11), and deaf ears to open (Mark 7:31-35). No one Jesus touched was ever left the same as He brought God’s new creation to the world. But the crowds wanted a Messiah who would overthrow Rome, and cast down the political powers. So Jesus was despised and rejected by the people, and nailed to a cross.

This Advent we look out on a world that is not as God intended or created. God weeps with us for the heartache, disease, and misery that are the consequence of a world running away from Him. But Messiah is coming back! Messiah is coming again when “there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

Until then we “reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Come, Lord Jesus!


This solo follows yesterday’s announcement of a humble, lowly King who will come speaking peace to the world. The solo is as modest and simple as the King who comes riding on a donkey. The singing is with minimal accompaniment, and sounds as unassuming as the foretelling of His birth (“Behold, a virgin shall conceive…”). The first three phrases of the solo rise, raising our hopes for the One who will give sight to the blind, and open deaf ears. The solo ends in a way that leaves us expecting more to come.


  • What do you sense that God might be saying to you in today’s Scripture text and music from Messiah?
  • What do you want to say to God?
  • Now take a few moments to be still in God’s presence.

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