Friday, September 30, 2016

God’s Suffering Servant

Note from Jesus

Dear Follower,

The Father’s role for Me when I came to earth as the Son of God shocked many people. They expected a warrior or kingly ruler who would restore Israel to prominence and power among the nations of the world. Even my cousin and forerunner, John the Baptizer, had questions about whether I was the Messiah. So I reminded this great servant that I was doing the things that are in the description of the Messiah given by Isaiah (Isaiah 35:4-6):

John sent two of his disciples to ask the Lord, “Are You the Promised One, or shall we keep looking for someone else?”

They came to Jesus and asked their question exactly as directed by John the Baptist.

Before He answered John’s messengers, Jesus cured many from various diseases, health conditions, and evil spirits. He even caused many blind people to regain their sight.

Jesus (to John’s disciples):

Go and tell John what you’ve witnessed with your own eyes and ears: the blind are seeing again, the lame are walking again, the lepers are clean again, the deaf hear again, the dead live again, and good news is preached to the poor. Whoever is not offended by Me is blessed indeed.

(Luke 7:19-23)

I came to earth as the servant promised in Isaiah. I repeatedly tried to help people hear this truth about My identity; here are two examples of what I said about Myself:

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to liberate the lost.”

(Luke 19:10)

“You know that among the nations of the world the great ones lord it over the little people and act like tyrants. But that is not the way it will be among you. Whoever would be great among you must serve and minister. Whoever wants to be great among you must be slave of all. Even the Son of Man came not to be served but to be a servant — to offer His life as a ransom for others.”

(Mark 10:42-45)

In the second passage of Scripture below, My apostle Paul dealt with problems in the church in Philippi. He used My example and My role as the servant of the LORD to be the foundation of his teaching. My disciples in Philippi needed to have the same mind, the same attitude, as I displayed in honoring the Father when I accepted My role as a servant. I want you to remember My role, My willingness to honor God in that role. More than remembering, I want you to adopt this servant lifestyle as your own!

Verses to Live

As you read the following verses, ask the Holy Spirit to imprint My example on your heart. First, you will read Isaiah’s words of description for the LORD’s Suffering Servant. Then you will read Paul’s exhortation for My disciples to have this same attitude. As Paul wrote to the Philippians from prison, he wanted them to grasp fully that they must have this one mind as they lived in relationship with each other. I want you to have this same mind as you live in relationship with other believers!

Indeed, who would ever believe it?

Who would possibly accept what we’ve been told?

Who has witnessed the awesome power and plan of the Eternal in action?

Out of emptiness he came, like a tender shoot from rock-hard ground.

He didn’t look like anything or anyone of consequence —

he had no physical beauty to attract our attention.

So he was despised and forsaken by men,

this man of suffering, grief’s patient friend.

As if he was a person to avoid, we looked the other way;

he was despised, forsaken, and we took no notice of him.

Yet it was our suffering he carried,

our pain and distress, our sick-to-the-soul-ness.

We just figured that God had rejected him,

that God was the reason he hurt so badly.

But he was hurt because of us; he suffered so.

Our wrongdoing wounded and crushed him.

He endured the breaking that made us whole.

The injuries he suffered became our healing.

We all have wandered off, like shepherdless sheep,

scattered by our aimless striving and endless pursuits;

The Eternal One laid on him, this silent sufferer,

the sins of us all.

And in the face of such oppression and suffering — silence.

Not a word of protest, not a finger raised to stop it.

Like a sheep to a shearing, like a lamb to be slaughtered,

he went — oh so quietly, oh so willingly.

Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away.

From this generation, who was there to complain?

Who was there to cry “Foul”?

He was, after all, cut off from the land of the living,

Smacked and struck, not on his account,

because of how my people (my people!)

Disregarded the lines between right and wrong.

They snuffed out his life.

And when he was dead, he was buried with the disgraced

in borrowed space (among the rich),

Even though he did no wrong by word or deed.

Yet the Eternal One planned to crush him all along,

to bring him to grief, this innocent servant of God.

When he puts his life in sin’s dark place, in the pit of wrongdoing,

this servant of God will see his children and have his days prolonged.

For in His servant’s hand, the Eternal’s deepest desire will come to pass and flourish.

As a result of the trials and troubles that wrack his soul,

God’s servant will see light and be content

Because He knows, really understands, what it’s about; as God says,

“My just servant will justify countless others by taking on their punishment and bearing it away.

Because he exposed his very self —

laid bare his soul to the vicious grasping of death —

And was counted among the worst, I will count him among the best.

I will allot this one, My servant, a share in all that is of any value,

Because he took on himself the sin of many

and acted on behalf of those who broke My law.”


(Isaiah 53:1-12)

In other words, adopt the mind-set of Jesus the Anointed. Live with His attitude in your hearts. Remember:

Though He was in the form of God,

He chose not to cling to equality with God;

But He poured Himself out to fill a vessel brand new;

a servant in form

and a man indeed.

The very likeness of humanity,

He humbled Himself,

obedient to death —

a merciless death on the cross!

So God raised Him up to the highest place

and gave Him the name above all.

So when His name is called,

every knee will bow,

in heaven, on earth, and below.

And every tongue will confess

“Jesus, the Anointed One, is Lord,”

to the glory of God our Father!

(Philippians 2:6-11)

Response in Prayer

Lord God, thank You for Jesus as Your example of a servant. Jesus’ example is both convicting and inspiring. I pledge to honor Jesus by following His example as a servant. I ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to help me as I seek to follow Jesus’ example and not my own selfish desires. In Jesus’ name, I pray and ask for this grace. Amen.

‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.

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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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