The One Worth Waiting For (P&P)

December 17, 2023 | Prayer & Praise Services

Rev Adrian Ng
The One Worth Waiting For (P&P)

December 17, 2023 | Prayer & Praise Services

Rev Adrian Ng
Scripture Passage: Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 (NRSVUE)

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Summary l The Christmas story is so familiar to some as it is repeated every year. However, we will appreciate the Christmas story better and not miss God’s message when we are prepared for Christ’s coming. Isaiah prophesied during a time when Israel was in captivity and there was much oppression and suffering. He foretold the coming of the Messiah to bring the Good News to the poor(V1). The Messiah will bind up the broken-hearted, proclaim freedom for the captives, release prisoners from the darkness and comfort all who mourn (V1,2). The people associated their suffering with sin and continued to perform rituals to become righteous. Isaiah proclaims that God will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations (V11).

1) The Work of the Messiah

Bring Good News To The Poor

He will

a) make one righteous with His own righteousness

b) deliver His people from Babylon and deliver Babylon to His people.

Babylon represents the work of the Evil One. V5-6 prophesy that evil will no longer prevail because justice and righteousness will be restored and people released from oppression.

c) grant freedom to all who are distressed or in trouble (including in sin).

It is not just the financially poor but even the rich are distressed because of painful relationships at home and work. The work of the Messiah is good news because He is able to do what He says. Jesus has done all the above (Lk 4:15-21). The message of Christmas is to remember who Jesus is and what He has done.

2) The People of The Messiah

Poor but Humble in the Lord

The poor refers to all who are afflicted, oppressed, needy, humbled and cannot help themselves and are forced to humbly acknowledge their need for someone greater to help them. A person who is financially poor but prideful is not poor according to scriptures. God’s grace extends to the poor even if they have unpardonable sin in the eyes of the world as long as they repent and turn to Him. This is a picture of our salvation in Christ to be people of the Messiah.

Are you 1) preparing well for Christmas? 2) striving to be righteous by your own standards? 3) stuck in a Babylon environment- under oppression? 4) frustrated by stubborn sin in your life or in distress?

3) Experience with the Messiah

A Perfect Eternal Wedding

When the Messiah returns, we will be clothed with garments of salvation and righteousness which are gifts of God. There will be much rejoicing and celebrations not because of the gifts but because of eternal togetherness with God.

What are the expectations of the people of God? (V4-6)

Ruins will be rebuilt, devastation restored, strangers (people with no relationship with God) will work for us, and we will be priests of the Lord. History shows that many great nations like Assyria, Babylon and Persia come and go but Christianity continues as God is the final authority of perpetual persistence.


1. Do not become strangers or foreigners – never go after other gods.

2. There is only one God who remains faithful and true over time.

3. Jesus is the ONE worth waiting for.

(Sermon notes by Woo Choi Yin)


  1. Reflect on your Advent journey – how have you been preparing for Christmas? (In spiritual terms) take some time to pen /share some thoughts on what Christmas means to you and its significance. 
  2. Read Isaiah 61:1-4,8-11 -Isaiah 61 speaks of a time where they return from exile but still under foreign rule. Oppression followed and yet this promise is given. What are possible responses from the people after hearing from Isaiah? What would you do? 
  3. What is the work of the Messiah described? To what extent has Jesus fulfilled this? 
  4. Read Is 61:4-6, it is easy to misunderstand this – but this is meant to be read in the context when the Messiah returns and restore Israel (People of God). Scholars are also divided on who the specific strangers are – but strangers are those who are foreign. How can we teach generations after us to be faithful so that they do not become strangers? 
  5. As Christians – Christmas takes on a different meaning. How are we similar to those in Isaiah’s time? What are our oppression that binds and trap us hopelessly? What is 
Wesley Communications Team
Posted by Wesley Communications Team

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