While the commission of Isaiah is often cited for missions, the message that the Lord gives him is often overlooked. Here is what Isaiah was to preach:
And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
What is interesting is that Christ preached this as fulfilled in his ministry. Christ used parables to conceal truth from Israel, yet reveal it to his true followers (Mat. 13:14). What else is interesting is that John identifies Jesus as YHWH who gives this message to Isaiah (Jn.12:40-41). So thus, Jesus is the God gave the message and the prophet who preached it.
But that’s not all. In that John passage, Jesus cites another verse along side Isaiah 6. It was Isaiah 53:1:
Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
This passage is of course part of the great Servant Psalm that predicts the death of Jesus. The beginning of the psalm starts this way:
Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—so shall he sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand. Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
The content of the message seems to be the suffering of this servant. And the Kong’s who hear and understand contrast with the nation of Israel which heard but could not understand. But what fascinated me most of all is that Jesus, being the servant, is thus the subject of the message.
Thus we have Jesus who is the Lord authorizing the message, the prophet proclaiming the message and the message itself. I’m not sure of about all the depth of this, but it really fascinated to think about.