“Behold My Servant!”4
Passage: Isaiah 52:15-53:12
"Behold my Servant..." The opening words to this passage are what we will be spending the rest of the year (and all of eternity) doing.
Isaiah probably seems like a strange place to begin a read-through of the New Testament. After all, Isaiah wrote these words around 700 years before the birth of Christ. Regardless, that is exactly WHO he was writing about, and this passage forms an outline/explanation for everything else we will read throughout the year.
I love this passage! I just read it through in the English Standard Version, New International Version, New American Standard, New Living Translation, and The Message. I would suggest that the best translation for you is the one that you will actually read.
Pick one. Pick a time. Get alone. Pray and read. Take some notes, because God is speaking.
What does this tell me about God?
So much! This is an amazing passage, and there is so much to highlight. One verse that jumps out to me is Isaiah 53:10.
"It was the LORD's will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer."
God is absolutely, totally, completely, [insert synonym here] sovereign. He knew exactly what He was doing in causing Jesus to suffer. God has a plan and He will accomplish 100% of that plan.
In this passage, God (52:13) is showing Jesus off.
"Look at my servant! Look at my son! Look what He will do for those who do not know us or love us or would ever seek us on their own."
In this passage, I see God's compassion, God's wisdom, and God's justice.
What does this tell me about myself?
I don't like a lot of what I read about “me” in this passage. I had gone astray. I rejected Him. I turned my face away. I did not honor Him. I am not the hero of this story. Now, even though I don't like it, I completely believe it. It rings very true in my own experience.
The good news: He suffered for my sins and, because of His righteous sacrifice, I can be made righteous.
What does this tell me that I need to tell others?
Everything in this passage! This is the gospel – the message that God seeks sinners, and His own Son pays the penalty for their sins. Jesus bore my sin and my judgment. He died and rose again, and provides the way of salvation.
Note: Tomorrow, we will jump forward 700 years to Mark, chapter 1, and watch as Jesus fulfills the prophecy.
Father, hold my mind's attention. I want to behold Your Servant this year! I want Jesus to be my focus in 2014, not television, not "me," not anything in comparison to Him.
Wake my heart's affection. I want to love You more in this year than I have ever loved You before. I want You to awaken in me a passion for Your Son that matches the passages of Scripture I will be reading.
Speak for Your glory and my holy joy. I want my life to be all about You. I want You to help me see that choosing for Your glory is choosing for my good. I am most satisfied when You are most glorified.
In Jesus, through Jesus, and because of Jesus, Amen.
BOBBY PRUITT | Lead Pastor
Bobby was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. He is the youngest of 13 children and was the first believer in his family. He graduated from Columbia Bible College and served in churches in South and North Carolina before coming to Texas in 1994. Bobby and Amy have been married since November of 1990 and have 3 children (Riley, Beau, and Emma Grace).
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Shelly McCoy Jan 3, 2014 @ 6:04 am
Tom that's exactly my experience as well. Thank you for verbalizing that so effectively!!
Sean Jan 2, 2014 @ 10:13 am
Hey guys thanks for joining the discussion!
Shannon Baxter Jan 1, 2014 @ 8:14 pm
The way this spoke to me today showed me the differences of the world to Jesus. How messed up and cruel we are in the world and how Jesus stood out and saved us all with His humility. Because God sacrified Jesus as our Incessor to bear all our selfish and cruel ways to show us what love and grace looks like. Jesus is our light in darkness. He is our good in the evil. He is our right in our wrong. He may have been ugly and disfigured and unpopular on the outside but His beauty on the inside was so great and powerful. He was humble, perfect, did no wrong and was loving and forgiving. He is our great example of love and humbleness. Application... We should follow His example even if the world sees us as ugly, disfigured, unpopular and weird. If we stand with the world we are not growing into the offspring of Christ that God so desires for us to be.
Tom Albers Jan 1, 2014 @ 4:26 pm
Thoughts from Isaiah 52 and 53 ....
Yesterday I was looking at an old yearbook and remembering how easily and unfairly I had pegged in my teenaged mind, the nature and character of each of the my classmates at the time. Some were 'jocks,' some were into drugs or partying, some were 'the brains' and some I just never took the time to know. Each represents a life of value and a person for whom Christ died. Today I still fall into the trap of easily characterizing people as being either winning, attractive people or the not so winning, not so beautiful people. I put myself in one or the other category based on circumstances or my feelings at the time - even though I know my value is defined by God who calls me His workmanship. In reading Isaiah I was struck by the phrase to describe Jesus as "one from whom men hide their face." It struck me that Jesus is assuming the place and position of the people that we treat as less than beautiful. He's identifying with the rejected. Every time I look at His workmanship and give myself or them the failing grade socially, it should remind me that Jesus is taking all of that disdain upon Himself in this passage. Woe to me if I don't change my mind towards myself and others, and thus, Him.