Discipleship Lessons from the 'Fifth Gospel'

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The lion and the lambIsaiah the Prophet's words inspire you with their beautiful cadences and lofty heights of imagery, and challenge you with their insightful rebukes and portents of judgment. It's an enriching book! Perhaps most important of all, Isaiah gives you a much deeper understanding of Jesus the Messiah, who fulfills these prophecies given 700 years before his birth. For this reason Isaiah is sometimes called the "Fifth Gospel."

Isaiah is the source of nearly a quarter of the Old Testament quotations and allusions cited in the New Testament, more than any other Bible book -- even squeaking past the Psalms. In sheer size, Isaiah second only to the Book of Psalms length and in the number of chapters.

Isaiah is considered one of the literary gems of the ancient world. Here you find the apex of Hebrew poetic style, brilliant imagery, and the whole range of human emotion -- hurt, judgment, exaltation, joy, sorrow, hope. Some of the passages that you'll recall probably include:

  • "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow" (1:18)
  • "Here I am, send me." (6:1-8)
  • "Unto us a child is born...."  (9:2-7)
  • "The wolf will live with the lamb ... and a little child shall lead them."  (11:1-9)
  • "And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness." (35:1-10)
  • "Comfort, comfort my people...." (40:1-31)
  • "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength" (40:31)

  • "The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." (52:13-53:12)
  • "Come, all you who are thirsty...." (55:1-12)
  • "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me...." (61:1-11)

  • "All our righteous acts are like filthy rags...." (64:6)
  • And many, many more....

My goal is to provide you a guide to studying Isaiah's prophecies, not a verse-by-verse commentary on each passage. Isaiah is a long and complex book. While I've tried to simplify it and examine some of the key passages in detail, hopefully this will be just a beginning in your lifetime study of this marvelous book.

Isaiah: Discipleship Lessons from the Fifth Gospel, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Available in paperback, Kindle, and PDF formats

We'll be challenged to cover Isaiah's 66 chapters in just 11 weeks. If you're teaching this material in a class or small group, you may want to extend your study time a bit. If you're studying Isaiah online for your own personal enrichment, you can easily complete this study of Isaiah in 11 weeks, but some weeks you'll be covering a number of chapters, reading them all, but zooming in to study the most significant and relevant passages.

  1. Early Messages (Isaiah 1-6)

  2. The Book of Immanuel (Isaiah 7-12)

  3. Judgment upon the Nations (Isaiah 13-23)

  4. God's Final Victory: Isaiah's Apocalypse (Isaiah 24-27)

  5. God's Help vs. Man's -- the Assyrian Crisis (Isaiah 28-35)

  6. Hezekiah's Reign (Isaiah 36-39; 2 Kings 18)

  7. Jerusalem's Warfare Is Over (Isaiah 40-48)

  8. Jerusalem's Iniquity Is Pardoned (Isaiah 49-55, except 53)

  9. The Suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-53:12)

  10. Finding True Righteousness and Devotion (Is 56-59)

  11. The Glory of God's Reign (Isaiah 60-66)


You'll find Isaiah is demanding at a number of levels, but wonderfully enriching to your soul. I invite you to study it with me. Sign up below for this exciting and free 11-week e-mail Bible study!

Yours in Christ's service,
Pastor Ralph

Here's how we'll study together.

  • Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
    This is our 39th online Bible study since 1996. If you've participated in one before, you know how God can use them in your life. If not, then you have a treat in store for you. This is an cross-denominational study designed to help you grow as a disciple of Christ. -- Dr. Ralph F. Wilson. About the leader.
    Each Saturday I'll e-mail you the lesson for the week. Then you'll read the Bible passage and use my notes to help you understand it better.
  • If you sign up for the daily questions version, on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday you'll receive a question from that week's lesson to think about and answer. This is designed as a "total immersion" approach to Bible study, since I believe God wants to use these lessons to work real and permanent change in your life. (You can opt out of the daily questions if you like, however, and just receive the weekly lessons.) You'll be thinking about these passages constantly over these weeks -- long enough for God to work his Word into your life and lifestyle.
  • You can respond to the questions and exercises using the Joyful Heart Bible Study Forum -- and read others' answers to reinforce your own understanding.
  • With each lesson you'll receive a link to a 20- to 30-minute audio teaching that sums up the passage you've been studying that week. Some who learn better from hearing than from reading really appreciate this.
  • Then on Saturday, I'll send you the next week's lesson.

Please don't sign up for more than one of my Bible studies at one time. Each of them is pretty intensive. Also, please don't sign up for your friends; let them decide for themselves.

If you subscribe today, you'll receive your first lesson this coming Friday.

Sign up now!

To sign up, start by clicking on your e-mail frequency preference:

You'll receive your first lesson the Friday after you sign up. There is no cost to participate in the study, though donations are encouraged so we can create more studies and reach more people.

We respect your privacy and never sell, rent, or loan our lists. Please don't subscribe your friends; let them decide for themselves.

Please don't sign up for more than one of my Bible studies at one time. There's no penalty, but each of them is pretty intensive. If you try to do too many studies at the same time without adequate reflection, you'll miss out on God speaking to you.

Copyright © 2024, Ralph F. Wilson. <> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.