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This awesome servant.... (3)

The LORD God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Isaiah 50: 4 [circa 710 BC]

A long, long time ago (c. 710 BC) a prophet (a “foreteller”) named Isaiah wrote about himself. Isaiah belonged to a tiny – but proud – nation, the nation of Israel. Much later (AD 0) another person who belonged to that nation – Jesus of Nazareth – came into the world in Bethlehem, a small town in the territory of the nation at present known by that same name – Israel.

In the words in bold above we understand that Isaiah is placing on record the things that are encouraging him to go on in his work as a prophet of the LORD God. (1-) The LORD God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. (-1) Interestingly, the first thing that sustains him is the fact that he has noticed and seen and understood that he has teaching ability because he is able to pass on what he has been taught (the tongue of those who are taught). But, most important of all, Isaiah seems to love the people to whom he speaks. "I know how to sustain with a word him who is weary."

Seven centuries later, Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Jesus also said to his disciples: “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”
‘No revolution that has ever taken place in society can be compared to that which has been produced by the words of Jesus.’ (Mark Hopkins, American educator, 1802-1887)

Isaiah, however, did not find that his words were universally accepted. He went on to say: (2-) Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. The LORD God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward. I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting. (-2)

When Jesus, 700 years later, prepared for his cross the following day, he said to his disciples in the upper room: “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.”

The Sanhedrin (the equivalent of Jersey’s States Assembly) upon finding Jesus guilty of blasphemy reacted physically against Jesus. “Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?””

Isaiah, in the Jerusalem of the eighth century BC, openly made clear that he relied upon the LORD God for help in his distressful service for the weary. Although he yields to the opposition against him, he is more than conqueror: (3-) But the LORD God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who is my adversary? Let him come near to me. Behold, the LORD God helps me; who will declare me guilty? Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up. (-3)

When Jesus, seven centuries later, resolved to make his was to Jerusalem and death, he also went in the strength of the LORD God: “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village.”

Indeed, Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, was declared guilty – not only before the Jewish Sanhedrin and also in the Roman forum.
‘It is more significant that God walked on earth than that man walked on the moon.’ (Rob Frost, writer and broadcaster, 1950-2007)
But the LORD God’s decision was final. Jesus rose from the grave, eternally living to confirm his Father’s earlier endorsement: “Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.””
Richard Syvret

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