God has declared that he alone is to be worshiped (Exodus 20:3), and that he will not share his glory with another (Isaiah 48:11). The fact that the creatures are worshiping this Being in the heavenly vision proves that whoever is seated on this high throne of heaven, receiving the worship of the heavenly beings IS GOD.
Further, the creatures declare that he is HOLY, while Jesus confirmed that there is no one good but God alone (Luke 18:19). Even more evidence that the Occupant of this throne is God! And finally, the creatures call him "the LORD of hosts." They are using the covenant name of God himself - Yahweh! There is no doubt that Isaiah has seen a glorious, awe-inspiring vision of Almighty God.
And then, over 700 years later, Jesus is born. A Man. Covered in flesh. Like us. And yet, God! In John's gospel, a statement is made that is profound and jaw-dropping and absolutely life-changing. John quotes Isaiah (Isaiah 6, the very chapter we have been discussing) and then says, "Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him" (John 12:41). Isaiah saw whose glory and spoke of whom? Before John's quote of Isaiah, John had been speaking of (drum roll...) Jesus! "When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. 37 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled" (then the quotes from Isaiah, and then) "Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him."
Over 700 years before Jesus was born as a Man, Isaiah saw God in a heart-stirring, sin-crushing vision, and John tells us that this God - this Yahweh God who sits on the throne of heaven and is worshiped as "Holy, holy, holy" by the heavenly creatures, is none other than the Man Jesus Christ! Whoah! Jesus is God!
The other quote John gives from Isaiah in John 12 is taken from Isaiah 53. You know, the one where the suffering Servant is numbered with the transgressors, crushed by God, bears the sin of many and makes many righteous - THAT Isaiah 53. So John quotes 2 passages from Isaiah - one showing the glory of Yahweh God on his throne and the other showing the broken, dying, bloody Servant who was wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities. And these 2 quotes are brought together in one verse, where John says, "Isaiah said these things because he saw his (Jesus') glory and spoke of him."
The glory of Jesus was seen by Isaiah. His glory as the one worshiped on the throne, and his glory as the crucified propitiation for our sins. Behold the glory of Jesus!
This mind-blowing declaration that Jesus was/is God agrees with the rest of Scripture:
- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. ...14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory... John 1:1-3, 14 (ESV)
- For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily. Colossians 2:9 (ESV)
- He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. ...But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever... Hebrews 1:3, 8 (ESV) [Yes, you read that correctly. That is indeed God the Father calling Jesus "God" and declaring that his throne - the one Isaiah saw him seated on over 700 years before he was born - is forever and ever!]
God was manifested in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16) in the person of the Man Christ Jesus.
Worship the Lord of glory!