I am here, Jesus:
I would like to express myself about some of the Messianic passages found in Isaiah, the prophet, and one of these is the passage dealing with the so-called virgin who would give birth to a son who would eat honey and butter, and who is supposed to represent me.
Now, the truth is that this message is Messianic in nature, and although it would be applied to one of the prophet's sons, yet it also has a far-reaching meaning which could be applied to the coming of the Messiah. The word which is translated by some churches to mean virgin simply means a young woman, and the meaning was that a child was to be born who would be simple and ingenuous, without sin, and that this child, called Emmanuel, would have the faith in the Heavenly Father which King Ahaz did not have. So that, while a child was meant who could have been a child of the prophet, one who, because of the invasion of the Assyrians would be compelled to live in the country, yet the utterance had a wider meaning to indicate the birth of a child with certain qualities which went beyond those of the child which Isaiah may have had in mind when the passage first came to him.
Furthermore, Isaiah wrote his 53 chapters on the servants of God, which is also Messianic, and which has been discussed and disputed by Jews and Christians alike -- the passage dealing with the man of sorrows and the one smitten for the sins of mankind. The Jewish interpretation that this man of sorrows represents Israel, the righteous servant of the Father, is at least the servant who undertakes to serve the Father despite his imperfections. And this interpretation is correct, for the prophet had in mind a righteous and suffering Israel, servant of God.
Yet, at the same time, this interpretation is but a partial one, and the prophet Isaiah also had in mind another prophet who would be smitten because of his duty to the Father, and would be rejected of men because of his unpopular prophecies and visions concerning the people and the ruling classes. And this double meaning of the prophecy, which students of the Bible have not been able to see, is clear when we realize that Isaiah wrote in the double symbolic way that Hosea did. And so, just as Hosea wrote about a man (himself) who married a faithless wife, Gomer, but also meant God's Infinite Love for His faithless Israel, in the same way Isaiah wrote about himself and also had in mind another prophet to come, Jeremiah, but also had in mind Israel, the servant of God, as well.
At the same time, the prophecy concerning the woes and the persecutions of Jeremiah, to the point where he was put in the stocks for his unpopular predictions about the doom of Judah and the temple and persecution by the people of his own town, are sufficient to show that Jeremiah was the prophet whom Isaiah had in mind above all. But the passage goes beyond Jeremiah, and also refers to me in some detail.
These, of course, were flashes of intuition which showed the persecutions that the prophets of Israel and Judah faced in doing their unpleasant duty in bringing to the people and their priests and rulers the presence of corrupting practices and the need for repentance. And the fact of the matter is that Uriah, another prophet, was killed by the King of Judah after being brought back to his native country from Egypt, where he had run away for refuge.
Isaiah's Messianic utterances were therefore complicated, in that various prophets were indicated in his passage on the man of sorrows and that, as was to be found in Hosea, Israel personified as a servant of God was also a part of the prophecy.
I wanted to mention this tonight because the Messianic prophecies of Isaiah, while famous, have been misunderstood, and their true meaning and to whom they referred have not been accurately gauged by the students of the Scriptures. I wish to say that under the circumstances these Messianic sayings were quite applicable to me as well as to my predecessors, and in view of my ministry in Palestine and its outcome, this prophecy can be considered as applicable to me, as well.
I will stop now, for rapport with you is weakening, and while I am satisfied with the way the message has been taken, I shall close with a word of love to the Doctor,* and state that I am your elder brother and Master of the Celestial Heavens,
Jesus of the Bible.
* Dr. Leslie R. Stone.