A Servant Of God
The Old Testament presents the Messiah as the Servant Of God sent into the world to save His people from their sins. Let’s take a few moments to study this aspect of the life of the Messiah and see the One that perfectly completed this wonderful promise from God.
Zech 3:8 (KJV)
8) Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they [are] men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.
Isa 42:1-4 (KJV)
1) Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
2) He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
3) A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
4) He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
Isa 52:13-15 (KJV)
13) Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
14) As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
15) So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for [that] which had not been told them shall they see; and [that] which they had not heard shall they consider.
Isa 53:10-12 (KJV)
10) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11) He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12) Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Matt 12:14-21 (KJV)
14) Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.
15) But when Jesus knew [it], he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;
16) And charged them that they should not make him known:
17) That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
18) Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
19) He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.
20) A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
21) And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.
Rom 5:17-19 (KJV)
17) For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
18) Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life.
19) For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Phil 2:5-8 (KJV)
5) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
What a seeming contradiction. We have already seen that the Messiah was promised to be a reigning King over the spiritual nation of Israel throughout eternity. These promises are found in the midst of the same Old Testament that tells us the coming Messiah would be a Servant of God. These two apparently contradictory prophetic revelations are, in actuality, two wonderfully harmonious promises that set Christ apart from all others who have ever lived.
In Zechariah 3:8 we find that the coming Messiah, described here as “The Branch”, is clearly declared to be the servant of God…. “for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.” In this text, He is called “the Branch” to help remind us of His beauty and fruitfulness resulting from His perfect submission to His Father… (Isa 4:2) “In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth [shall be] excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.”
In Isa 42:1, we read another promise of the Messiah involving His servitude to His Father… “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth;…”
This prophecy continues by describing the workings of Christ and his faithfulness in His death and executing judgment on the earth.
Isaiah 52:13-15 & Isa 53:10-12
Likewise, in both Isa 52:13-15 and Isa 53:10-12, we have the same promise that His servanthood would be shown through His suffering, death and exaltation… vs 13 “Behold, my servant shall deal prudently,…” & vs 11 “by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities…”
In Matthew 12, we find that Jesus is clearly declared to be the fulfillment of the Isa 42 prophecy… “… But when Jesus knew [it],… And charged them that they should not make him known: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased:…”
The death of Jesus on the cross is described as “the obedience of one”. We are told that it was His obedience on the cross that resulted in the giving of His righteousness to His people… “so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Once again, we can see that the life of Jesus reveals to us that He is the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies of servanthood and humility.
A spirit of humility and servitude was clearly revealed in the life of Jesus. Once again, it is His death on the cross that is pointed to as the ultimate demonstration of His willing obedience to the Father… “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
It is this same spirit of humility, submission and self-sacrifice that should be shared by all those who have trusted in Jesus.
The servanthood of Christ not only involved delivering the message of His Father and doing His Father’s works, but also giving His life on the cross as the supreme act of submission and obedience to the will of His Father. Through His entire life, Jesus displayed the ultimate spirit of selflessness and humility for the sake of His chosen people. In doing so, He showed Himself to be the suffering servant of the Old Testament Messianic prophecies.
As followers of Jesus, let us all display that same type of self-sacrificial spirit as we seek to serve Him with our lives.
May the Lord bless our study of His Word.
If you have any questions about salvation you are welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.
Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”. On this page, you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation and important truths about salvation.