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Isaiah 50:4-6

Isaiah 50:4-6
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Isaiah 50:4-6, “YHWH 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…He awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught…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…”


These words anticipate Jesus, the Servant of YHWH who will perfectly receive and give the words of YHWH; supremely so in His Passion. See that it is precisely because the Servant has learned from YHWH (“He awakens my ear to hear”) and submitted to what He has learned (“I was not rebellious”) that He gives Himself to and for His enemies (“I gave my back to those who strike”).

In this text, then, we see that Christ’s anastasiform obedience of love (“anastasis” being Greek for resurrection, thus “anastasiform” implying both crucifixion and resurrection, and, indeed, the crucifixion declared in, and transfigured to beauty through, the resurrection), Christ’s anastasiform obedience of love is the external expression of that which He has learned from His Father. Or, said again, to truly receive and learn the word of YHWH is to be conformed to the image of God, which we see in Christ who pours Himself out in the obedience of love unto death and so is raised up to newness of life.

One thing this means for us is that true learning ought to result in the Christoformation of our lives. The right end of all learning is that our words might bind up the weary (v.4), and the right fruit of all learning is the manifestation of Christ’s Passion—His death and resurrection—in our flesh (v.5-7). We have not learned anything aright until our learning of it yields the fruit of healing words to the weary and self-giving love in our lives…which is to say, until our learning of it conforms us to Christ.

And yes, this is true for ALL learning…theological, but also literary, artistic, mechanical, scientific, philosophical, etc. Why? Because if ALL things are from and for Christ (Col.1:16), then the final meaning of ALL things IS Christ, and to learn ANYTHING aright must ultimately lead to seeing—and so being conformed to (2 Cor.3:18)—Christ in that thing.