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Summary: This is the 2nd of 5 Servant Songs in Isaiah. This one expresses the mission of Christ to restore the Children of Israel; and to serve as a light to the Gentiles

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February 8, 2004

Title: Servant Songs of Isaiah: Mission of the Servant

Text: Isaiah 49:1-6

Introduction

1. A couple weeks ago, we introduced the Servant Songs of Isaiah...

In the book of Isaiah, there are 5 "songs" that speak about Jesus...

and some aspect of His ministry.

2. We’ve looked at the first one, in Isaiah 42:1-4 several weeks ago...

which served as an Introduction to the "Servant" in the Servant Songs.

"a bruised reed He will not break"...

Christ didn’t come to knock over people already burdened down by the cares of life...

He came to serve, to reinforce, to strengthen...

"a smoking wick He will not put out"...

Christ didn’t come to snuff out what little faith remains...

He came to give us a fresh infusion of Oil...

in the Person of the Holy Spirit...

so that we can burn hotter and brighter than ever before.

3. Since we have been introduced to the Servant Leader, Jesus Christ...

Today, we will look at the Mission of the Servant

Read text: Isaiah 49:1-6

Body

1. First of all, I want you to see that this passage of Scripture is prophetically speaking about Christ...

A. Who else can all these things be said about...but Jesus?

1. Verse 1 says He was called before He was born

Isaiah couldn’t say this about himself, his call took place when he was an adult.

But Christ was so called before He was born...

In Luke 1:31-33, the angel tells Mary, "You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end"

2. Verse 2 tells us His Mouth is like a sharpened sword

The writer to the Hebrews tells us, "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" Heb 4:12 (NIV)

What was it about Christ that drew people to Him?

Was it the way He dressed?

Was it His masculine good looks?

Surely, He words were effective...

The disciples, on the Emmaus Road said, "Didn’t our hearts burn within us while He was speaking to us" Luke 24:32

The woman at the well said, "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" John 4:29 (NIV)

3. Verse 3 says, "You are My Servant, Israel, in Whom I will display My splendor"

This can’t be talking about the nation of Israel...

because in verse 5, the Servant is called to bring Israel back to God...

The word Israel literally means, "He Who will rule as God"

Christ said, in John 17: "I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do." John 17:4 (NIV)

Christ obviously displayed God’s splendor to a lost and hurtin world.

4. Verse 4 tells us that this Servant said, "I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing" Isaiah 49:4 (NIV)

You might think that is a harsh reflection...

and surely doesn’t refer to Christ...

but think about it for a minute...

Christ’s public ministry lasted for about 3 years...

in that time, we can think of some people’s lives He touched...

but at the end of His life...

where were all His supposed followers?

Listen to the words of Jesus in Luke 13:34, ""O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing" Luke 13:34 (NIV)

John 6:60, it tells us that "many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?" ...from this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. John 6:66-67 (NIV)

You can sense the heartbreak in Christ...

expending so much effort in His ministry...

but people...by and large...remained unmoved...

He didn’t see many results until after His Ascension...

when, through the power of the Holy Spirit...

people came to Christ by the thousands.

5. Verse 5 tells us that this Servant came to bring the Israelite people back to God...

In Isaiah 11, we read, "a shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from His roots a Branch will bear fruit."

and the whole chapter reads as a prophesy of the coming Messiah...

and then, Isaiah 11:12 tells us, "He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; He will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth".

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