Summary: an exposition of Isaiah 50:4-11
Islington Baptist Church November 25, 2001
Jesus in the book of Isaiah
As you know, we are in the midst of a series entitled “Jesus in the book of Isaiah”. Isaiah lived and ministered 700 years before Jesus came on the scene. Isaiah spoke often of the Christ who was to come and knowingly so (I Peter 1:10-12).
For the past couple weeks we have been touching upon and exploring what are commonly called the Servant Songs of Isaiah. In 4 separate passages, being Isaiah 42,49,50, 52-53, Jesus is presented to us as the Servant of the Lord. In these passages his person and ministry are spelled out to us in great detail. As this is done, the defining image of Christ communicated to us is him as the Servant of the Lord.
It is imperative that we grasp this presentation of Jesus; for servanthood is what we are called to as Christians. The servant ministry of Christ detailed for us in Isaiah stands as the pattern for the kind of people we are to be and how we are to be living our lives as his followers.
The third of the Servant Songs of Isaiah is found in Isaiah 50:4-11. Please turn with me to this passage. (READ)
I. The teaching, preaching, speaking ministry of the Servant (being Christ) v.4
Last week when we were in Isaiah 49 we were confronted with these words regarding Christ “He made my mouth like a sharpened sword” indicating to us the powerful and incisive preaching ministry that Jesus was going to have; a ministry that was going to see people cut to the heart and brought to repentance and faith in Christ.
Here in verse 4 it says “The LORD God has given me an instructed tongue/ learned tongue, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary”
In view here is the teaching, preaching, speaking ministry of Christ. A ministry that has this result in mind: ministering to and bringing comfort and strength to the weary.
And just who are the weary that are in mind?
All those trapped in their sins. Jews laboring under the demands of the law, being never able to satisfy on their own its holy demands. Gentiles, devising their own ways to God, trapped in a never ending, never truly satisfying cycle of idolatry.
The weary in mind are also the weary in a general sense: those burdened and weighed down by life and its troubles. Those who are persecuted. Those in unjust circumstances. All those who are weary.
What is Jesus’ invitation to such ones? “Come unto me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Come to me and be satisfied. Come to me and you will receive the forgiveness of your sins and life eternal. Come to me and find healing for your soul and strength for today and tomorrow. Come to me and I will minister to you to the very depths of your being.
What fascinates me about this verse is the particulars mentioned.
The glorious end of the servants spoken ministry is the salvation and comfort of weary souls and words aptly spoken to those in need of being lifted up. Yet note this:
Jesus is here said to have an instructed or learned tongue.
The key to his speaking a word in season to those who are weary is his having an instructed tongue. The key to Jesus’ effective preaching, teaching, speaking ministry, and his saying the right thing to the weary was his having an instructed tongue.
Something very important is here being communicated to us that we must not miss:
When Jesus spoke to people he only and always spoke the words of the LORD God/ his Father to them.
Deuteronomy 18:17-19 speaks of this “I will raise up for them a prophet like you Moses from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account”
John 7:14-16 speaks of this “Not until halfway through the Feast did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. The Jews were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having studied?” Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me.”
John 8:28 speaks to this as well, saying “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be, and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.”
What amazing verses! Jesus spoke the right words to people at the right time, words that sustained and lifted up the weary, because he spoke the LORD God’s words to them.