Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Isaiah (the "Gospel prophet") gives us a precious insight into the daily life of Jesus in His incarnation among us. We read in the Gospels how sometimes Jesus would rise up "a long while before daylight, [and] He went out ... to a solitary place; and there He prayed" (cf. Mark 1:35). Doubtless, it was on such an occasion that the Father gave Him, through the Holy Spirit, the "outline" for that magnificent Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).
Jesus speaks of Himself in Isaiah: "The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned" (50:4). He didn't need an alarm clock; the Father woke Him through the Holy Spirit.
It was on these occasions that He was called to "go to school" where He learned to be so highly educated that His enemies asked, "How does this Man know letters, having never studied?" (John 7:15). In His incarnation, Jesus truly "took" our fallen human nature; as a Baby He had laid aside the prerogatives of His divinity and had to learn as all babies do; His mind at birth was a white page. His mother Mary taught Him to read the holy Scriptures; thence He took off on His own to study. It was through His own experience that He declared, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness" (Matt. 5:6). His own personal hunger and thirst for it were insatiable.
In Isaiah He tells us of His own reaction to being awakened early in the morning to go to school: "I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away" (50:5). One scholar translates Him, "I didn't pull the covers back over My head" (Peterson). Teens aren't noted for readiness to jump up early in the morning, but this One who was serious-minded was humbly responsive. The Lord has thousands of them today in readiness for when they understand the true outpourings of the Holy Spirit. They will be ready to lay self aside and cooperate with Him.
But this does not mean that Jesus deprived His physical body of the rest He needed. He was the picture of vibrant health and energy. The same Lord who awakened Him "morning by morning" also says that He wants us to get adequate rest and sleep: "He gives His beloved sleep" (Psalm 127:2).
Jesus wasn't trying to carve out a brilliant career for Himself to "rise and shine." He was simply following the leading of His Father (who, incidentally, is our Father, too!). If you can't sleep, get up and pray and study the holy Word; blessed are you if you can find sleep through simple prayer.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: September 16, 2007.
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