Suffering Servant (2 of 10)

The Word
For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. (Isaiah 53:2)

 Voice from the Church
“The language of Messianic prophecy is often obscure. The divine intent in this obscurity is to remind the prophecy understandable only by true believers in God who are taught by the Holy Spirit. … Many of these passages cannot be interpreted except in the light of the entire content of the Word of God.”
(John F. Walvoord, 1910-2002)*

In speaking of the Servant who was yet to be revealed, agricultural terms are used to describe his early years: “plant,” “root,” and “ground.” The Word made flesh did not come to this world as a fully-grown man; his birth and human growth were like any other, though absent of sin. And his coming was “like a root out of dry ground.” The life of God was manifested (“root”) among a very arid and parched people (“dry ground”). How beautiful to see this Rose of Sharon bloom amidst a dry and thirsty wasteland! This should give hope to God’s people in every generation!

When the Suffering Servant was finally revealed, there was nothing humanly and naturally attractive about him: “He had no stately form or majesty that might catch our attention, no special appearance that we should want to follow him” (Isa. 53:2 NET). Christ’s true beauty came from his inherent holiness; his attraction was God’s Spirit upon him.

Human charisma was not God’s answer to man’s dilemma.

His beauty and majesty
Lay not in His appearance;
His attraction was that He
Was God’s Deliverance. (RIT)

*John F. Walvoord, Jesus Christ is Lord, p. 82.

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Author: Ralph I. Tilley

I joyfully identify with the long history of the orthodox, evangelical stream of the Church. Theologically, I am a conservative. On issues of secondary importance, I will not quibble with my brothers and sisters in Christ. We are called to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” I would hope I have no doctrinal biases; however, I realize that is a practical impossibility: “Now I know in part.” You can read more on the About page.