Thursday, May 13, 2010
Isaiah 53: 3 states:
"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not."
The Messiah would be both "despised" and "rejected" by the very people who claimed to follow Him. The astonishing report of Isaiah was unbelievable. It makes no sense that the people who looked forward to deliverance would reject their Deliverer. Why expect them to "despise" and "reject" the very one they rely upon for their hope? It is little wonder that Isaiah's report would not be believed.
Isaiah's Messiah would be "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." He would mingle with the commonest of people, bearing with their infirmities, ministering to them. All the while, He will be a thorn to those who despised His ministry. Those in good society would "hide their faces from Him," and refuse to associate with Him. He had nothing to offer them. For them to acknowledge Him would require them to condescend. Better for them to hide their faces.
He warned them that if they were ashamed of Him, He would in turn be ashamed of them. (Mark 8: 38.) He also counseled them to be careful about their standard of judgment, because it would be applied to them. (Matt. 7: 2.)
Despite the coming Messiah's teachings, and Isaiah's testimony of Him, the chosen people nevertheless "despise" Him, and "esteem Him not." It would simply be too difficult a task to confront Him in the flesh and find it possible to recognize Him for what He was.
We presume we could have recognized Him. However, the test He set up was one that He cautioned was coming. Our unflattering views of Christ's contemporaries may, in turn, leave us without excuse should He choose as He does so often, to send us a message from an obscure or un-credentialed source.
I wonder how many of us would recognize the truth, if it came only with the power of veracity behind it. Forgetting all the messenger is lacking, could we be starving ourselves from truth by again rejecting the open hand the Lord extends us? Whether by His own voice or by the voice of a servant, it will always be the same. (D&C 1: 38.)