Summary: Responding to the faithfulness of the servant

This SIGN was recently spotted in the airport lounge of an INDIAN airport (slide):

We request all passengers not to hand over their mobile phones / personal belongings to any member of our staff.

If any passenger may choose to do so, it will be at their own risk as to the cost and consequences and the management shall not be responsible for the same.

It’s a great way to show your staff that you TRUST them. Today we look at the third servant song and we are given every REASON why we should trust the Lord with our life. The servant of the Lord is NOT out to rip us off, he is not out to FURTHER his own agenda.

We are looking at the servant songs because we want to SHARPEN our understanding of Jesus. We want to AFFIRM the importance of living with Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. Paul puts it NEATLY in Colossians, ‘So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness’. (Col 2:6 –7).

HOW have we received Christ Jesus as Lord? WHAT sought of Christ is he? WHY should we continue to embed our lives in him? Isaiah helps us ANSWER these questions. He speaks of an unnamed SERVANT who will rescue the nations. Moses and Cyrus are but poor reflections. Isaiah speaks of a servant who will restore JUSTICE. A man who will persist in the face of TERRIBLE opposition. A LOWLY servant who will speak mighty words. One day all the nations will bow down before him.

We ought not miss the excitement. I went to a Christian FUNERAL a few Mondays ago. In the midst of sadness there was EXCITEMENT about the future. The vision of the new heavens and the new earth. The unnamed servant who will DELIVER Israel and rescue the nations. The one who will NOT falter until he establishes justice on earth. The servant whose POWERFUL words will pierce hearts and move people to their KNEES in repentance.

We are exiles and we long for the day when the Christ will COME and deliver us from this broken world. We long for the day when ‘the former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind’ (Isaiah 65:17).

What a wonderful thought! NO more pain. NO repressed memories coming back to haunt you. NO more lamenting and crying and anguish. NO more mourning for lost parents and SPOUSES and children. The BURDEN of sin, forgotten.

Rev 22 paints a wonderful picture. For the SAINTS there ‘will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever’ (Rev 22:5). The Welsh commentator, Matthew HENRY says that ‘the glorified saints will therefore have forgotten this world, because they will be entirely taken up with the other’.

This is the great VISION which Isaiah lays before us. And I hope this excites you and energises you to continue living with Christ Jesus as Lord.

Jesus knew the servant songs. He knew that the MESSIAH must suffer and die, and on the third day he would RISE again. Jesus KNEW that he was the suffering servant of whom ISAIAH spoke. How ISAIAH would have longed to have been at his baptism. For as Jesus ROSE from the water, the Spirit descended upon him—and our MINDS are back in Isaiah 42, ‘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’ (Isaiah 42:1).

And then the VOICE from heaven, ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased’ (Mk 1:11). ‘You are my Son’. THINK of Psalm 2. The baptised Son is NO less than the ‘Son of God’—the Messiah—the long awaited KING. ‘With you I am well pleased’ echoes ‘my chosen one in whom I delight’. Because you are my unique Son, I have CHOSEN you for the task. The FATHER says at his baptism, ‘My Son, you are my servant-king’.

Want to be GREAT in this church? We measure GREATNESS by service because Jesus says, ‘Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants be first must be a slave of all’ (Mk 10:43–44). Servant-hearts are an EXPRESSION of our love. If you want to be really great in BHP, then become a board member or make a fortune as the CEO. But if you want to be great in this church then ‘bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another’ (Col 3:13). Love each other as CHRIST has loved you.

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