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The Servant Must Be Seen and Heard

Daniel Barta

Dec 13, 2023

‌Each man and woman possesses two sets of eyes and two sets of ears. One set of each belongs to their physical bodies and the other set of each belongs to their hearts. The existence of two sets of ears and two sets of eyes make possible the ability for men and women to see and not see and to hear and not hear all at the same time.

The eyes and ears of the body detect physical realities. They see the soft pinks, purples, and oranges of the early morning sunrise. They hear the squirrels bustling through the layer of fallen leaves in the wooded area that forms a boundary to my back yard. They take in the beauty of a bride and they hear the disgruntled cry of an infant.

The eyes and ears of the heart perceive and understand. With these eyes, we recognize beauty, value, and the weight of a matter. With these ears, we perceive the threat of an approaching funnel cloud and we tremble, retreat, and take cover. With them, we perceive the life altering and life threatening gravity of a cancer diagnosis and we weep, we resolve to take action, and we submit our bodies to hellish treatment.

The problem the Servant identified in the people of Israel was a blindness and deafness crippling the perception and understanding of their hearts.

1 Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? (Isaiah 53:1 ESV)

This Servant would come, sent by the LORD. He would serve and by the LORD’s hand He would be exalted. But, Israel though they would see Him and hear him with their physical eyes, they would not see and hear with perception and understanding.

2 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. 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:2-3 ESV)

The Servant would come and live right in front of them. He would dwell with them. He would go to their parties, drink their wine. They would hug him and touch him. He would live, walk, talk, sleep, play, and work right in front of them. Their physical eyes would behold him and their eardrums would know the vibration of His voice.

But, when their eyes looked at his face, their hearts perceived no beauty in him. When they would hear him preach, they would understand not the glory of His word nor the truthfulness of His message. When they would witness His trajectory of life - a life of sorrow and grief - they would wrongly perceive Him as one worthy of their despising. In their hearts they would esteem Him not. Though they would hear His voice and see His nose, His cheeks, and His chin, they would never see Him as He really was, the Son of God, the promised Servant, the King of the Universe and the LORD of lords. They perceived Him as ugly, empty of glory, and unworthy of noteworthiness.

He would come and the people would miss Him, for though they could see him and hear him, their hearts knew a blindness and deafness that would keep them from perceiving and understanding the glory of the one in front of them.

God’s Servant, Jesus, Was Unseen and Unheard by the Hearts of Men.

When Jesus came, even His own people rejected Him. They soon plotted to kill him. They could not tolerate His presence nor His message.

One day, when speaking to His disciples Jesus explained their opposition to Him by quoting the prophet Isaiah.

13 … because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” 15 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ (Matthew 13:13-15 ESV)

They thought the Messiah would come and conquer with a sword, but Jesus came to bear a cross. They thought He would come and establish a throne, but Jesus came to wash feet. They thought Jesus would march to Jersualem so that He might reign with them forever; but Jesus’ march to Jerusalem ended with Him being carried to a tomb. The eyes and ears of their hearts perceived incorrectly, “This is not the Christ! When He claims to be the Servant he blasphemes!” With blind and deaf hearts, they cried out fully convinced of their rightness, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”

Pray for Seeing and Hearing Hearts.

All men and women come into this life with hearts covered by a cloud of darkness. Only a small percentage of humanity come into the world with physical blindness and deafness, but one hundred percent of them pass through their mothers’ womb unable to see and hear the glory of God in Christ Jesus, the Servant.

Our natural hearts look upon the Servant with disgust. We esteem Him not. We find no beauty in Him, no value in Him, no praiseworthiness in Him. Our hearts love power and riches and physical pleasure. He presents Himself in weakness, poverty, and sorrows. Our eyes and hearts are drawn to triumph and conquering, He appears conquered and defeated.

Men and women, have but one hope, that God would so work in and on our hearts that we see the glory hidden in Christ. That we perceive the truth and understand reality.

4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:4-6 ESV)

He alone gives sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf. We must see and hear Jesus correctly with our hearts, and we depend wholly on God to grant us this by His grace and mercy. Not only we, but our children, our friends, our spouses, our neighbors - we all must experience this work of God in our hearts. Let us then turn our hearts toward Christ, and let us do so as we pray, “God, open the eyes! Let us hear!"

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