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Summary: Jesus served, he served gently, and he served people unlike himself. He calls us to do the same.

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The Discreet Messiah

(Isaiah 42:1-9)

1. At Vacation Bible School, the teacher stacked a bunch of apples on one end of a table with a sign saying, "Take only one apple please - God is watching."

On the other end of the table was a pile of cookies which an overly-generous mom brought over. Her sign read, "Take all the cookies you want - God is watching the apples." [adapted for goyim from Harry Leichter’s Jewish joke website]

2. Some people today believe God is limited; they serve a small God. We serve a big God who can watch both the apples and cookies. As a matter of fact, our God can write history before it happens. This is particularly evident in Scriptures that predict Jesus.

3. Chapter 42 through Isaiah 55 section called “The Servant Songs.” The four songs themselves are portions of this text, as listed below. Additionally, many consider Isaiah 61:1-9 another servant song (I do). The authors of the New Testament hovered over these passage, I believe, and taught our faith from them.

The four “Servant Songs” proper are found in:

Isaiah 42:1-4

Isaiah 49:1-6

Isaiah 50:4-9

Isaiah 53 (entire chapter)

The fifth “Servant Song” is not part of this section, but found in: Isaiah 61:1-9

Jesus served, he served gently, and he served people unlike himself. He calls us to do the same.

I. The Servant is MESSIAH (1)

That the Jews understood this is apparent from the Targum, ancient paraphrase, “Behold, my servant, the Messiah, whom I bring…”

A. An individual in whom the Father DELIGHTS

God not only delights in his Son, but he delights in those who are “in Christ.”

B. The SPIRIT has been put upon him

Matthew 3:16-17, And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

C. He will bring JUSTICE to the nations (second coming)

The term “justice” has many meanings, especially “social justice.”

Constable: “In the Bible, justice means fulfilling mutual obligations in a manner consistent with God’s moral law. Biblical justice creates the perfect human society.”

D. If you are Jesus’ Disciple, you must learn to SERVE

Matthew 20:28, “…even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mark 9:35, “… And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, ‘If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.’”

1. Serving is hard because we do not get much attention [Lucifer]

2. Serving is hard because we are vulnerable to the choices of others

3. Serving is hard because we can become weary in well-doing…[too long]

4. Serving does not come naturally to us, some more so than others…

Jesus served, he served gently, and he served people unlike himself. He calls us to do the same.


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