Isaiah 42:14-21

Lectionary Text for March 31, 2014

Old Testament Lesson

Isaiah 42:14-21

14    For a long time I have held my peace;

I have kept still and restrained myself;

       now I will cry out like a woman in labor;

I will gasp and pant.

15    I will lay waste mountains and hills,

and dry up all their vegetation;

       I will turn the rivers into islands,

and dry up the pools.

16    And I will lead the blind

in a way that they do not know,

       in paths that they have not known

I will guide them.

       I will turn the darkness before them into light,

the rough places into level ground.

       These are the things I do,

and I do not forsake them.

17    They are turned back and utterly put to shame,

who trust in carved idols,

       who say to metal images,

“You are our gods.”

Israel’s Failure to Hear and See

18    Hear, you deaf,

and look, you blind, that you may see!

19    Who is blind but my servant,

or deaf as my messenger whom I send?

       Who is blind as my dedicated one,

or blind as the servant of the Lord?

20    He sees many things, but does not observe them;

his ears are open, but he does not hear.

21    The Lord was pleased, for his righteousness’ sake,

to magnify his law and make it glorious. [1]


This Scripture is chosen for this Sunday because of its correlating Gospel text from John 9.

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.


13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”


34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.

35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”3 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” [2]


The two can be seen simultaneously synced in that the Pharisees, though they profess to have faith in God alone, have created for themselves an idol of the law.  While on the other hand, Christ has overcome the curse of the law and made the blind to see.



[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Is 42:14–21.

[2] Lutheran Service Book Three Year Lectionary (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009).