“The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned” (Isaiah 50:4, KJV).
The above passage is a prophecy about Jesus, the Messiah. It shows us the image of Christ as a disciple or student. Imagine that: Jesus the student. When we think of Jesus, that’s not the image we often associate with Him. Yet the Bible says that He was a learned Man, well instructed. Who instructed Jesus? The Father did. We shall soon find out more about this. In the meantime, let’s look at the details in the passage.
In the prophecy, Jesus is speaking in the first person. He says that the Lord GOD has given Him the tongue of the learned, i.e. the tongue of a disciple. A disciple is one who understudies another and follows in the footsteps of that person. A major part of the Messiah’s job description was teaching. This, obviously, required speaking. Jesus trained under the Father so that He would, among other things, know how to speak the right word to sustain those who were exhausted in life. Jesus was a good Teacher because He was a good Disciple.
Another interesting detail from today’s passage is that Jesus did not stop being a disciple. According to the passage, each morning the Father opened Jesus’ ears to give Him the instructions of that day. The mark of a good disciple is the ability to listen. That is what Jesus did. In Psalm 40:6, another Messianic prophecy, Jesus reiterates His listening ability as a disciple: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened” (NKJV). Jesus, as we can see, was not only the Son of God, but also was a Disciple of the Father.
Every day, the Father taught Him what to say and how to speak. These daily instructions sharpened His teaching ability and made every word from His mouth a seasoned word, capable of lifting up those who were burdened in life. In Jesus’ own words, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things” (John 8:28, NKJV). Because Jesus listened and submitted to the daily instructions of the Father, He gained a skillful tongue – capable of delivering life-giving words.
A well-trained tongue is a fountain of refreshing words. The Book of Proverbs expresses it pithily, “There is one who speaks like the piercings of the sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health” (12:18, NKJV). Jesus was, and is, the Giver and Promoter of Life. He literally gave life to people by speaking the right words to them. “The words that I speak to you,” He declared, are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63, NKJV). His secret? He listened to His Father.
As the Father taught Jesus, He has many things to teach us also. The secret to success in God’s Kingdom is daily obedience to the voice of God. Let’s learn from Jesus the Disciple.
May the Lord let His face shine upon you and make all your paths prosperous, in Jesus Name. Amen.
For further study: Philippians 2:5-24