Summary: Jesus is described by God as One worthy to be followed.
Sunday Night: A Man To Follow
Text: Isaiah 42.1-7
CT: Jesus is worthy to be followed.
Two months before [Orthodox priest] Aleksandr Menn was felled by an ax, he was asked in a radio interview broadcast across Russia, "Does one need to be a Christian, and if one does, then why?"
"I think there is only one answer, and it as follows," he said:
"Man always seeks God. The normal state of man is, to some extent, to be connected with a higher power, even when the higher power in the human mind is distorted, and turned into something secular. Eras of Stalinism ... and all other isms seek some false god even if God is taken away. This turns to idol worship, but still the inner instinct of seeking God is there. ...
"The question is totally different when it is put this way: Why Christianity? Is it because of the sacred scriptures? No, every religion has sacred scriptures, and sometimes with a very high quality of spiritual content. ...
"Then why Christianity? Morality? Certainly. I am happy that in our society the high moral values of Christianity are accepted, but it would be totally erroneous to maintain that there are no moral values outside Christianity. ...
"Then why Christianity? Should we embrace ... a position that God is revealed and therefore can be found in any religion? No, because then the uniqueness and absolute character of Christianity will disappear. I think that nothing will prove the uniqueness of Christianity except one thing--Jesus Christ Himself."
Larry Woiwode, Books & Culture, Vol. 2, no. 2.
LS: What would make a man stand up to the point of death to proclaim his belief in Jesus Christ?
Who is Jesus for you? Is He someone you would give up everything for?
How does God describe Jesus? I found a scripture that describes Jesus as God sees Him.
Isaiah 42.1-7, 1 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.
3 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
4 he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth.
In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”
5 This is what God the Lord says—the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it:
6 “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles,
7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
This text is known as the first of the four “Servant Songs” of Isaiah referring to God’s Servant the Messiah.
The others are 49.1-6, 50.1-11, and 52.13-53.12. They are worth a read sometime. You would recognize 53. This is the one where Jesus is pierced for our transgressions and by his wounds we are healed.
But lets look at our text in depth tonight. Isaiah 42.1-7
In verse 1 God claims Jesus as His Servant. He is pleased with Him and will put his Spirit on Him. (1) Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations.
It deals with the character of Jesus. Verse (2 and 3) begin with the unique manner of the Servant’s ministry that will bring justice to the nations. “He will not shout or cry out , or raise his voice in the streets.”
(3)“A bruised reed He will not break, And a smoldering wick He will not snuff out; In faithfulness he will bring forth justice.”
(4) he will not falter or be discharged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope.
These islands are the islands of the Mediterranean from Is. 11.11.
This Messiah will not stop till he completes what God calls him to do.
Unlike the foreign conquerors, God’s Servant wouldn’t come shouting His decrees in the streets, nor would He crush the oppressed or discourage the disheartened.
The divine King has given the servant, Jesus, royal power. Yet He will exercise that power in such a way as to not damage the hurting or the disenfranchised - not even a broken reed that appears useless or a wick so uncared for it could no longer produce clear light, or those so oppressed they feel crushed.