In the upper section, the Prophet Isaiah holds a scroll facing outward that reads, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his path straight.” which is a quotation from the Old Testament book of Isaiah the prophet.
In contemporary language Isaiah is saying: “A voice is calling in the desert: ‘Prepare for God’s arrival! Make the road straight and smooth, a highway fit for our God.’”
Notice in the window, the cloud whirling about the prophet’s head, with a hand with wings, and in the hand of God there are tongs of fire, poised at Isaiah’s lips. According to Isaiah chapter 6, he experienced a vision of God seated on the throne in the heavenly temple. He was immediately convicted of his sinfulness when he saw the Lord Almighty. But an angel of the Lord flew to him with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar. He touched Isaiah’s lips with the coal saying, “This has touched your lips. Your guilt is taken away and your sins are wiped out.” (The Message contemporary paraphrase of the Bible.) The prophet Isaiah spent his career proclaiming the coming of God’s Kingdom and giving many prophecies about the Messiah, the coming Savior.
Jesus described John the Baptist as the one whom Isaiah was talking about, the great herald of the One who was to come – our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. John traveled around preaching to the crowds to repent and turn away from their evil ways. He told them “Turn back to worshipping God and prepare for the coming of the Messiah.” As a sign of their changed life, John baptized the people in the Jordan River. (Luke 3:3-20) John didn’t care that his own ministry faded away; he only cared about Jesus. The time of the Old Testament prophets like Isaiah, was passing away, and the New Testament period was beginning.
The lower section of the window depicts Jesus preaching from Peter’s fishing boat.
Jesus got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.” - Luke 5:3
In this window Jesus is teaching by the Sea of Galilee. He is imploring the crowd to open their eyes and to see Him as He is. He is teaching them as one with authority, not as the scribes and the Pharisees. He is doing miracles that no mortal could do; that only God Himself could do. He is heralding the coming Kingdom of God; the Messiah, the Son of God, entering into their midst, breaking into their lives. At Jesus’ feet are the adoring crowd, sitting at His feet, hanging upon every word, looking up to the Savior with rapturous joy.
Ah, but then look at the two Pharisee religious leaders standing at a distance on the right, with critical expressions on their faces, arms folded in scorn, even their body language shouting their disapproval. They were the ones most learned in the law; they had read and studied the scriptures. Why did they stand at a distance? Why did they fail to recognize Jesus? Because Jesus didn't fit the picture of what a Messiah was supposed to be in the mind of the Pharisee and so they rejected him.
Won’t you come and sit at the foot of the Master? Hear His voice today, and be taught by Him, and open the Bible. Do not put it off, do not delay, the Master is here, He is teaching your heart. His arms are open and He is speaking to YOU!
From the sermon “The Blind Leadeth the Blind” by Dr. Stuart D. Broberg, September 16, 2007.
The Herron Window was presented in memory of Francis Herron (1774-1860), the third minister of First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, who served from 1811 to 1850.