Summary: People refused to heed the Servant of the Lord or His message & for that reason did not experience the power of His arm. For it is through heeding the message that the mighty arm of the Lord brings salvation, to believer & lost alike.
THE DESPISED FRIEND
[JOHN 1: 10-14]
Chapter 53 continues to speak of the Messiah, Jesus, who would suffer for the sins of all people. Such a prophecy is astounding! Who would believe that God would choose to save the world through a humble suffering servant rather than a glorious king? The idea is contrary to human pride and worldly ways.
So people refused to heed the Servant of the Lord or His message and for that reason they do not experience the mighty power of the arm of the Lord. For it is through heeding the message that the mighty arm of the Lord brings salvation, to believer and lost alike. There are two reasons given here that the world reject the Servant of God. The first is because they find the Servant unattractive. Second, because the way of the Servant is not popular with the world system, so He is despised and friendless. His low condition and especially His sufferings make Him an object of contempt. Isaiah wrote that people will not value the hidden strength of the Servant. We would reject Him because He was considered an ordinary person. But God often works in ways we don’t expect. The Messiah’s strength is shown through humility, suffering, and mercy.
But despite the fact that worldly people avoid becoming a friend with such a one as He; He is the only completely faithful friend any one can have. He is the "friend that sticketh closer than a brother" (Prov. ). For this friend willingly received the punishment that is due each and everyone of us for our transgressions and iniquities so that we might go eternally free.
The world may despise our Friend but we who come to know His mighty arm of salvation say, -"What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear, what a privilege to carry everything to Him in prayer."
I. MESSAGE DISBELIEF, 1.
II. HUMBLE MESSENGER, 2.
III. PUBLIC REJECTION, 3.
God has been promising in Isaiah to save not only Israel but the world. Again in verse 1 we find that objective or message. Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
The Servant passage begins with two rhetorical questions. Who has believed our preaching or teaching? And, who has experienced its saving power?
These two parallel thoughts express the same idea. Believing what has been proclaimed and the revelation of the Lord’s strength are two aspects of the same thing. Whoever believes the Gospel Message is one who will experience the Lord’s saving power being extended to him. It was the arm of the Lord that brought Israel of old out of Egyptian slavery and it is the arm of the Lord that brings people out of the bondage of sin and death and into being a servant of God.
God manifests His delivering saving power through belief in His Servant and His Word. If His Servant and His Word are not believed, the delivering power of God is not revealed. When Paul quotes this verse in Romans 10:16, he follows it up with verse 17 as the interpretation. "So faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ."