The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher,
that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.
Morning by morning he wakens — wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.
5 The Lord God has opened my ear and I was not rebellious,
I did not turn backward.
6 I gave my back to those who struck me,
and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.
7 The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
8 he who vindicates me is near,
Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together.
Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.
9 It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty?
All of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.
From Linda's sermon for Passion Sunday 2005:
Here is a Jesus, who, like the suffering servant of Isaiah, has set his face like flint.
In Luke, Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem. It is a journey we have been on during Lent. But today marks the beginning of Holy Week and the journey is coming to its end. Today, we hear of the stoniness, the quietness, the isolation, and inaction of Jesus in the passion narrative.
He had been teaching in the temple all week, but now, now they come at night to arrest him.
Now he is taken here, there, whipped, scourged.
He is silent before Pilate,
silent for a time, before the high priest …
Until he seals his own fate …
This is not a powerful actor in the world's eyes.
This Jesus does not act.
No sword is to be raised to defend him.
No word is said on his behalf.
No one to declare his innocence…