Seven Time Quoted Prophecy — Isaiah 53

After Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law and “many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill.” Matthew records, “This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: ‘HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES’” (Matt 8:16,17, quoting Isa. 53:4). 

Matthew used Isaiah’s “Suffering Servant” prophecy to show that the coming one would combine power and compassion. And it also foretold of unbelief over Him, and His rejection, innocence, and ultimately help unto salvation. This prophecy is quoted an amazing seven times in the New Testament, including by Jesus Himself. 

John quotes Isa. 53:1, “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?” (Jn. 12:27) when people didn’t believe even though they were shown many miracles. Paul quotes the same words to explain people not believing the gospel, and added, “they did not all heed the good news” (Rom. 10:16).

Jesus said this unbelief  that Isaiah foresaw would lead to His rejection of and death, and quoted vs. 12, “‘AND HE WAS NUMBERED WITH TRANSGRESSORS’; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment” (Luke 22:37).

Peter referred to Isa. 53 three times in one paragraph telling how it all worked for our good.  He quoted vs. 12 on Jesus’ innocence, “NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH” (1 Pet. 2:22); vs. 5 on His suffering for our sake, “BY HIS WOUNDS YOU WERE HEALED” (2:24); and vs. 6 on our need for Him to do this, “FOR YOU WERE CONTINUALLY STRAYING LIKE SHEEP” (2:25). 

Thus it was easy for Philip to “preach Jesus” to the Ethiopian eunuch when he asked about this “passage of Scripture.” His request, “Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this?” (Acts 8:32-35) could be confidently answered because of how clearly Isaiah’s prophecy foretold of Jesus our savior, the suffering servant of God.