What Would Jesus Read?
Sovereign Lord, You sustain me, watch over me, and infuse me with Your wisdom and strength. Thank You for Your faithfulness.
Read ISAIAH 50:4-11
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the Word of God” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer).
Jesus borrowed extensively from the imagery and language of the Old Testament, particularly the prophets, and there is none who shapes his ministry more than Isaiah. When Jesus urges us to “turn the other cheek” (Matt. 5:39), is the inspiration of Isaiah (6) in his mind? When he chooses to “set his face” toward Jerusalem and death (Luke 9:51), does the promise of Isaiah that he will not be put to shame (7) give him courage? Are the moths that eat the treasures of the unwise (Matt. 6:19) the moths of Isaiah (9)? So strong are the parallels throughout Isaiah that his texts are often mistaken for New Testament passages.
There is a sense in which Isaiah is painting a predictive portrait of Jesus, reaching poetically for the profile of the coming Messiah, but there is also a sense in which Jesus is honoring the legacy of Isaiah. Jesus has been shaped by Scripture, immersed in the rich poetry of the prophets. The good news he announces is the good news they longed for. His hope is their hope. His kingdom is the fulfillment of their dreams.
This is important because it models to us the very obedience Isaiah is describing (5,10). Isaiah emphasizes time and again, as the basis of obedience, the hearing of God’s word. His message is for those with “ears to hear” (Mark 4:9). He also models it for us. Before asking us to take God at his word, Jesus himself has done so. His is a human life rooted in, and shaped by, God’s Word. The alternative, Isaiah suggests, is that we live by the light of our own paltry wisdom (11). The end of such a choice is darkness and, as Jesus adds, “If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt. 6:23).
The Sovereign Lord has instructed Isaiah (4), alerted him (5), and helped him (7, 9). Recall ways in which the Lord has done the same for you. How are you rooted in his Word?
Open my ears, O God, to the words You have spoken and the words You yet will speak. I want to be shaped by Your Word.