“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. 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. 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. Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the voice of His servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the Name of the LORD and rely on his God.” (Isaiah 50:4-10 ESV)
Have you ever wondered what it was like for Jesus to live among us as a man among other human beings? We know He spent a lot of time in prayer, and we know that He constantly relied on His Father for everything He did and said. But the inner experience of it is a bit of a mystery.
That’s why I love this passage from Isaiah, because it gives us Jesus’ own voice describing what it was like to walk and live among us as our Savior.
And the surprising thing is, how much His experience was like our own! He says that “The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught”—that is, Jesus regards Himself as a learner from God the Father. Living as a human being, He humbles Himself and is one of “those who are taught,” just like we are. He relies on the Father and the Spirit to give Him what He needs “that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary.” He relies on the Father and the Spirit to guide Him to what He should say and do for us. And this is a daily thing for Him—every morning He wakes up to listen to what God the Father wants Him to do this day.
But His life of humility goes beyond learning and taking direction. He also obeys the Father, even when it’s clear that pain and suffering are in store for Him. He says, “The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious.” This is probably a reference to an Old Testament ear piercing ceremony that slaves would ask for on the rare occasion where they were supposed to be set free, but decided they’d rather stay to serve their master lifelong. Jesus is glad to be the Servant of the Lord forever, even though He knows it leads to the cross.
And now that He has triumphed over death and the devil, Jesus invites us to walk the same road He did: “Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the voice of His servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the Name of the LORD and rely on his God.” We can trust in our Lord Jesus, the Suffering Servant, to lead us, because He has walked our road all the way to the end and won salvation for us. He understands, and we will never be alone.
THE PRAYER: Lord, You know what it is like to live our lives. Help me to trust You when my road is dark. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Reprinted from Lutheran Hour Ministries with author’s permission
1. When you have to travel somewhere new, do you ask questions to others who have been there before? Why or why not?
2. Does it surprise you that Jesus lays aside so much of His rights and powers as God the Son while He is living on earth?
3. What specific practical things do you do to find help when you are going through times of darkness in your life?