Summary: This is the second verse of Isaiah 53, "For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him."

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For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

Previously, we saw how Isaiah 53 could be divided into four parts: His Person, (1-3) His Passion, (4-6) His Passivity, (7-9) and His Portion (10-12). We learned that the events in Isaiah 53 were written approximately 700 years before they actually happened; and that they were written in such great detail, as if they were written by an eyewitness – a testimony to the inspiration of Scripture. We also saw that it also offers one of the clearest descriptions of the Passion of the Christ in the Bible and can also be considered the Old Testament Gospel. For this cause, Isaiah was known as the evangelical prophet of the Old Testament, since much of His writings cover the coming, the work of, and the future kingdom of the Messiah. [1]

Isaiah 53 is preceded by Isaiah 52:13-15 which speaks of the Gentiles’ acceptance of the Messiah which the book of Acts testifies to as the fulfillment of this prophecy. Thus, when we get to Isaiah 53:1, he offers a statement of shock or amazement that who among his people, the Jews, has believed their (the prophets’) report and then, to whom is the arm of the Lord (going to be) revealed.

We also saw just what the arm of the Lord is: the power of God through Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:24) and His Gospel (Romans 1:16) to save souls. From verse one we may see at least two implications:

1. That a person can read and study the Bible their whole lives (as the Pharisees did) and still miss the point – Jesus Christ (John 5:39, 40). The Jews had Isaiah 53, as well as other Scriptures, yet they did not see Christ. A person may have great knowledge of the Bible, of theology, of doctrine – but never know the Author (and finisher of our faith). Not just know about the Author. Eternal life is knowing God through His Son Jesus Christ (John 17:3). It is a relationship, not acquired information. Having a degree, a title, or reading many books does not guarantee spiritual understanding. Only God reveals spiritual things.

2. That since Christ and His Gospel are the power of God unto salvation, we must be faithful in preaching, teaching, and sharing Him if there will be any power, or anything for God to reveal

That brings us now to our current text a continuation of verse one. Having expressed his shock at the Jews lack of belief of their Messiah, under the Holy Spirit’s leading Isaiah goes on to express why. As we examine the Person of the Suffering Servant: which describes the Messiah – (a) what the Jews were to expect, (b) what He would be like, (c) what they (the Jews) should look for in their Saviour, and (d) why they rejected Him. If you are familiar with the last days of the Lord’s earthly ministry, you know that He was crucified at the almost unanimous consent of His people. Isaiah 53:2 gives us the reason why (humanly speaking).

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground:

A new, baby, tender plant is pretty weak, easily damaged, and fragile. And so are we humans. The frailty of the human body is clear in Scripture: He knoweth our frame… (Psalm 103:14) and we are as the grass (1 Peter 1:24). We are only an illness, heartbeat, or injury away from death - the weakness of the flesh, and the Lord took upon Himself this frail fleshly frame (John 1:14) to accomplish His work. God had to become a man in order to take our place and suffer what we suffer. That He might also be an effective High Priest, For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

A root out of dry ground is coarse, rugged, not worth a second glance, or even thought. Have you ever seen one? It just looks like a dried stick in the ground. Who cares?

This speaks of the Lord’s lowliness, and lowly background. At the time of His arrival, the Jewish nation was conquered and enslaved by the Romans, poor, and despised. [2], [3] The line of David had decayed and become poor, and perhaps even forgotten. [4], [5] He came from Nazareth of Galilee, where nothing good was expected to come from (John 1:46). Nazareth was considered the bad part of town, a slum, or low-income housing area, filled with crime, shady characters, and poor education (like the reputation the Bronx, Harlem, or East LA had in the US).

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