The Third Sunday in Advent

The Third Sunday in Advent

The Promise of a Son to Save

In the 8th century B.C. the powerful Assyrian army threatened the nation of Israel. Into these dark days Isaiah the prophet spoke of God’s coming intervention as a light that would shine in the north. The sign of God’s victory would begin with something very weak, something very insignificant – the birth of a baby boy – but this baby boy, of the house of David, would be born to be God’s special ruler – the one who would serve and save God’s people.

As Isaiah’s prophecy continued to unfold, the means through which this baby boy would one day save God’s people became clear. Isaiah would speak of a servant to come – a servant who would be identified with Israel but who would also be different than Israel and thus be able to save Israel, and indeed save all who would ever put their trust in Him. The climax of Isaiah’s prophecy about a baby boy-servant to save comes in chapter 53 where we learn that He would save by dying like a slaughtered lamb. The means of His salvation would be His perfect life and His substitutionary death… the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

With this promise in mind, the New Testament opens with a genealogy connecting Jesus to all the promises that came before – He is the son of David, the son of Abraham (Matthew 1:1), and the son of Adam, the son of God (Luke 3:38). Therefore Mark opens His record of Jesus’ life by proclaiming, The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

God’s plan was unfolding – at the perfect time and in the perfect way. The waiting was coming to an end.

On the right day, in the right place, at the right time, Jesus was born.


( This reflection is taken from our Advent Devotional guide. For further reading and accompanying reflection questions, you can download the full guide here.