Summary: The Spirit of God has revealed who the Messiah is.
See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him-- his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness--so will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.
Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Last week we ended our study of this passage with the Kings having their mouths shut. This week we continue the study looking at the first three verses in chapter 53. This chapter begins with two rhetorical questions. Both these questions remind me of a story.
As most of you may be aware, there is quite a controversy over the book of Jonah. Liberal scholars state that the book contains a myth of a man named Jonah who was swallowed by a whale whereas conservative scholars hold that the story is God’s truth. The controversy is not new and has it roots back in the late 1800’s. Let me share the story.
A devout father had a son who was studying for the ministry. The son decided to go to Europe for an advanced degree, and the father worried that his son’s faith would be spoiled by the sophisticated unbelieving professors. “Don’t let them take Jonah away from you,” he admonished, figuring the swallowed-by-a-great-fish story would be the first part of the Bible to go.
Two years later when the son returned, his father asked, “Do you still have Jonah in your Bible?”
The son laughed. “Jonah! That story isn’t even in your Bible!”
The father replied, “It certainly is! What do you mean?”
Again the son laughed and insisted, “It is not in your Bible. Go ahead, show it to me.”
The older man fumbled through his Bible, looking for the Book of Jonah, but he couldn’t find it. At last he checked the table of contents for the proper page. When he turned there, he discovered that the pages comprising Jonah had been carefully cut from his Bible.
“I did it before I went away,” said the son. “What’s the difference wheter I lose the Book of Jonah through studying under non-believers or you lose it through neglect?”
What is the difference of you lose the message of the gospel through studying under non-believers or if you lose it through neglect?
That is the message of our lesson today? This certainly is a Strange Attitude. Last week as you remember, Isaiah told the people to wake up. He told them to see that the Messiah’s appearance would be humble and surprising. It would be obscure and not want they anticipated.