Monday, April 2, 2012

The Servant Song part I

Behold, my servant shall act wisely;
    he shall be high and lifted up,
    and shall be exalted.
As many were astonished at you—
     his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
    and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
so shall he sprinkle many nations;
     kings shall shut their mouths because of him;  – Isaiah 52:13-15

To celebrate Passion week, there is no greater section of the Bible I can think of than “The Servant Song” located at the end of Isaiah 52 and continuing on to Isaiah 53.  Every time I read the verses, I get chills because of the stunning description of the ministry of Jesus.  I hope this will bless you greatly.

          - Behold my servant shall act wisely;
As a teacher, Jesus taught on many subjects, from money to prayer.  His parables are still regarded as wise teachings.  Not only did He teach the parables, He lived them out.

          - He shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted.
In Acts 1, Jesus ascended into heaven.  In Acts 7, before Stephen was stoned he saw Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father,  He was exalted into the highest position in the universe.  We exalt and worship Him, today.

          - As many were astonished at you – His appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and His form beyond that of the children of mankind.
In 27:26 Jesus was scourged.  I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a picture of what a Roman scourge looks like, but that is a nasty instrument.  It has three or more strips of leather.  On each strip, there were chunks of metal (iron and zinc, typically) tied at intervals.  The sole purpose of the chunks of metal was to rip the flesh.  Jewish law places the number of lashes at 39 but the Romans had no legal limit.  After several lashes, the flesh of Jesus’ back would have been rended and some major organs may have been visible.

Then, Jesus was struck by the Roman soldiers and they put upon His head, the crown of thorns, spat upon Him, and mocked Him (Matthew 27:29).

I gave my back to those who strike,
    and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
    from disgrace and spitting.  Isaiah 50:6

          - So shall He sprinkle many nations;
The word sprinkle comes from the Hebrew word yazzeh and has two different meanings, both are appropriate in this context.  The first meaning is like the word is translated, to sprinkle.

Hebrews 10:22 “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”

The second meaning of the word is to startle.  Jesus was not the candidate that the Jews were looking for in their savior.  They were looking for a king to overthrow them from Roman rule.  Jesus; however, came as a humble servant, but overthrew people from Satan’s rule.  This is a startling concept.

          - Kings shall shut their mouths because of Him;
Jesus was unlike any other king.  Rather than being a reflection of awesome and terrible power, He came as a reflection of humility and servanthood.  That Jesus would sprinkle out His blood for the forgiveness of sins is such a startling fact, that it would humble and silence kings.

There’s a legend that King George II, attending a performance of Handel’s Messiah, was so moved that he leapt to his feet at the Hallelujah chorus.

          - for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.

The message of the Servant would be spread throughout the world, not just to the Jews.  This was a reason Paul gave for expanding the reach of his mission in Romans 15:21.


Dr. Constable’s Study Notes on Isaiah 2012 (

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