Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Servant Song Part II

Who has believed what he has heard from us?
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
     and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
    a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not. – Isaiah 53:1-3

The Servant Song is my absolute favorite part of the Bible, starting in Isaiah 52 and continuing into chapter 53.  The Servant Song is so powerful and I hope you enjoy this study.

            - Who has believed what He has heard from us?  And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

Jesus said He could do nothing without the Father (John 5:19), how could He do anything if the Father had not been speaking to Him?

            Also in John chapter 5, Jesus said that if the Jews had listened to John the Baptist and if they would have truly studied their scriptures, it would have been revealed to them that Jesus is the Messiah.

But Peter made a declaration that Jesus is the Messiah (Matthew 16:16).  Jesus replied to Peter, “for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.”

Also, in 1 Corinthians 12:3, Paul wrote that nobody can say, “Jesus is Lord” but by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is the messenger of the Lord.  Through the Holy Spirit, the message of God was revealed to Peter and also to all who call Jesus  Lord.

            - For He grew up before Him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground;

In Isaiah 11:1, 10 the prophet speaks of a root of Jesse.  Jesse was the father of King David.  The Savior would come from the lineage of David.  As it would happen, both Joseph and Mary could trace their ancestry back to King David (though Joseph was not Jesus’ biological dad, the ancestry of Jesus could be legitimized on both sides).

Paul confirms that Jesus is indeed the root of Jesse in Romans 15:12.

Jesus was raised in Nazareth, not much was in Nazareth and the town had a bad reputation.  In John 1:46, Nathaniel said, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”  If a place could be called dry ground, Nazareth would have been the place.

            - He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him.

The world has always placed a high value on physical appearance and status.  God always chooses the least likely candidates for getting the job done.  God uses the weak in the world to shame the strong (1Corinthians 1:27).  God chose Gideon to be a judge over Israel, even calling him a mighty man of valor; yet Gideon was from a small clan and was the smallest of his family (Judges 6).  God chose the youngest and smallest son of Jesse to be the king over Israel rather than the taller, more handsome, older brothers (1 Samuel 16).

It would seem natural to God that He would choose to be born into a body that wouldn’t attract attention through physical appearance.

            - He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;

In Matthew 13, Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth.  People listened to His powerful sermon and was accepted as a wise man who did mighty works.  But when they realized that He was the son of Joseph the carpenter, he was rejected by men.  The Jews made several attempts at taking Jesus’ life prematurely, surely people don’t try to kill their friends.  Jesus was despised for preaching the truth about the kingdom of heaven.

Many people have this false idea about God, that He is unfeeling.  This is far from the truth.  Jesus knew sorrow, several times He shows sorrow for the unbelief of Israel.  He showed sorrow at the death of Lazarus (John 11:35).  But what greater sorrow is there that He came to save the people, He knew that it would cost His life and He knew that He would still be rejected?

Hebrews 4:15 shows us that Jesus is able to sympathize with our weakness.  He is able to sympathize because He experienced the weakness that we are prone to.

He is the man of sorrows, He took to the ultimate suffering upon the cross.

            - And as one from whom men hide their faces He was despised and we esteemed Him not.

Before Jesus was took to the cross, all of His disciples had left His side.  Even Peter, who had said that he would die before he left Jesus’ side denied being with Jesus three times (Matthew 26).  Jesus was mocked and spat upon.  And in Deuteronomy 21:22 it says that a man hung on a tree is cursed.  The Jews would have regarded Jesus as cursed because He was hung on a cross made of wood.

May the Lord bless you richly.

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