Jesus The Righteous, And Wise Banner
The prophecy begins with Isaiah saying that the spirit of the Lord must dwell in Jesus and Matthew 3:16-17 confirms that.
However, there are three other character traits that Jesus fulfils.
One, In I John 2:1-2 Jesus is called righteous. What does righteousness look like? During the time of Jesus righteous people weren’t exactly the kindest people. It is possible that the many righteous people whom we meet today aren’t exactly very kind people too. They may have probably told you that God is righteous and righteousness looks a bit like them.
But Isaiah reminds us that righteousness will look like Jesus. In the episode of the woman caught in adultery, Jesus explained to the spectators that sin is not what is merely visible on the outside but is also an internal experience (John 8:15-16).
C.S. Lewis says this, “That is why Christians are told not to judge. We see only the results which a man’s choices make out of his raw material. But God does not judge him on the raw material at all, but on what he has done with it.” You are not better off because you were protected from not doing certain things, instead you will be judged by what you did with all the experiences and opportunities you had.
Two, Jesus is wisdom, understanding and knowledge. It doesn’t take us long, while reading the gospels, to realise that Jesus was wise. We often witness Jesus’ response to his questioners left them stunned, and struggling indecisively with an inescapable choice. We also have instances when people were amazed at his teaching.
However, we must realise that Jesus was not merely speaking words of wisdom. He is the “Word”, he is wisdom personified. Jesus is a person, says Ratzinger, “who not only has words but is his word… if we ever meet such a person, then he is the meaning that comprises us all and by which we are all sustained.”
Three, Jesus is the signal for all people. Some translations also use the word banner. Jesus becomes the advertisement of “meaning and life” for everyone. He is not holding the signal or banner pointing to somewhere. Rather, He is the banner! And he is the banner for everyone. It is not an exclusive invitation. He invites everyone.
When we accept his invitation, we accept him. He will immediately rest in us. and the Bible says that His resting place shall be glorious. Of course, there is some excitement in looking forward to heaven but he rests in us now. The righteous and wise Jesus rests in us in the here and now. What an opportunity for us to become the dwelling place of the great ‘I am.’