To BE like JESUS is to BE a SERVANT like HIM
July 29 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 40-42
"Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, my Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street." (Isaiah 42:1-2)
As we approach the closing chapters of Isaiah’s prophecy, it becomes increasingly evident that the election of Israel as ‘the chosen people of God’ is seen as a means toward the goal of the salvation of all the non-Jewish people (the Gentiles) in this world. This would be accomplished by the coming of an individual who is referred to as “My Servant” above. With all the traits of King, Prophet, and High Priest, He is none other than the Messiah, Jesus Christ Himself! He would be the ultimate fulfillment of the ‘Great Promise’ that God had made to Abraham many years ago: "And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen. 12:3).
The above passage is the beginning part of the first among the four individual “Servant Songs” (42:1–7; 49:1–7; 50:4–11; 52:13–53:12) that point toward Israel’s Messiah. The New Testament quotes this prophecy as being fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ (see Matt. 12:18–21). Empowered by God’s Spirit, His task would be to “bring justice to the Gentiles” (v. 1). The Servant— Jesus Christ—possessed the Holy Spirit (4:4; 11:2; 48:16; 59:21; 61:1; Luke 3:22; 4:18; John 3:34), which empowered Him to bring justice to the world. While Jesus’ early ministry was to the house of Israel, His ultimate commission extended to the Gentiles as well. Of all of the Old Testament prophets, Isaiah saw this fact most clearly!
A new song of praise will be sung for the victory that God will accomplish through His Servant, Jesus Christ. It is interesting to note that the Greek word ‘pais’ translates both ‘son’ and ‘servant’. To achieve this victory, Christ left His glorious abode – heaven – to come down to this lowly earth by putting on a garment of flesh to taste death for all (Heb. 2:9) so that we can taste His goodness daily (1 Pet. 2:3). The ‘High and Holy One’ came down to our level to become the ‘Meek and Lowly One’. As a lowly servant, Jesus lived and died victoriously to disarm our wrong doings. He is still opening the blind eyes, and freeing people incarcerated in their self-made prisons and from the inner darkness that they have created (v. 7).
Let us remember that Jesus Christ was chosen by God before the foundation of the world to accomplish a great work for an atonement of humanity (Zech. 3:8; 1 Peter 1:20; Rev. 13:8). He pleased God the Father as an object of His love and favor (60:10; 62:4; Matt. 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 9:35). Jesus was called, chosen and empowered by His heavenly Father, so He did not get discouraged and quit. As part of God’s eternal purposes Jesus fulfilled His unique mission (John 17:4), and left us a co-mission for us to fulfill as His representatives (Matt. 28:18-20). He lived as a servant in humility and served by faith by trusting His Father in heaven to meet His needs, and that is the way we must live today!