The Servant And His Service

Isaiah 52:13

The Golden Passional of the Old Testament - The Servant And His Service

I. "BEHOLD." At once our attention is invited and arrested. The "Beholds" of Scripture are all impressive and important, and without exception, challenge and merit our most careful attention. This "Behold" excels all others, for it is the herald drawing attention to the only Begotten of the Father.

God the Father is not ashamed to draw attention to His Son. "Hast thou considered My servant Job?" God proudly drew Satan's attention to the patriarch; "there is none like him;" and right nobly did Job bear up under his crushing sorrows. He did not let God down. There yet was sin and also much imperfection in this honoured and much tried servant. The fiery trial brought to the surface the sin of self-righteousness Job never dreamt was present in him. There is no such fear in our examination of the Lord Jesus. No one ever detected a flaw or blemish in His spotless character. The fiery trial only brought out all the clearer His perfections, as the fire from the Altar in Tabernacle and Temple only revealed more than ever the wonderful fragrance of the sacred incense.

There are four specially attractive "Beholds" connected with the Lord Jesus, and they wondrously harmonise with the predominant message of the four Gospels.

1. "Behold thy King" (Zec 9:9), agreeing with the Gospel of Matthew wherein is drawn for us the portrait of the Lord Jesus as the King.

2. "Behold My Servant" (Isa 52:13) agreeing with the portrait drawn of our Lord in Mark's Gospel.

3. "Behold the Man" (Zec 6:12) agreeing with Luke's portrait of the Saviour, wherein the humanity of the Lord is emphasised over and over again.

4. "Behold your God" (Isa 40:9) where attention is drawn to the Deity of the Servant, as in John's Gospel.

II. THE SERVANT. It is well to observe that God the Father is not ashamed to direct the attention of the Universe to His only begotten Son as "the Servant." There is nothing derogatory in this. In distant parts of the earth, in the habitations of paganism, idolatry, and cruelty, a gentleman is one who never works, and as a proof of this, allows the finger nails to grow to great length, and is arrayed in lengthy and costly robes. But the very glory of Christ is that He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. On the eve of His Passion, fully conscious of His Deity and glory, like a common Eastern slave He girded Himself with a towel, and washed the feet of His disciples. He could even say, "I am among you as one that serveth." There is a great deal of miserable cant in even these so-called democratic days. For why should a domestic servant be considered worthy of less respect and honour than another girl in office or professional labour? Even the King and Queen upon the Throne are but the servants of their subjects. The Lord Jesus, by becoming a servant, has for ever sanctified and dignified that humble word.

Here in this Golden Passional the great service rendered by the Divine servant is that of atoning for the world's sin. The Hebrew word for servant means a person at the disposal of another, to carry out that person's will, to do that person's work, to represent his interests, and to fulfil a mission. This also is the New Testament definition of a servant. In those days a servant and a slave were synonymous terms. The Lord Jesus placed Himself entirely at the disposal of the Father.

In the Scriptures various individuals are referred to as God's servants.

1. Worshippers (Psalm 134:1) are called God's servants. How important worship is to be sure, and what an important service it is.

2. Trusting Ones (Psalm 34:22) are honoured by that designation. To place and exercise faith in God is delightful and important service.

3. The Jewish Nation (Isa 41:8) is so designated. It would have been well if they had more constantly remembered this, and lived up to this great honour.

4. Certain Individuals are so marked, as for example; David (Isa 37:35); Isaiah the Prophet (Isa 20:3); and Nebuchadnezzar (Jer 25:9). But the greatest and most glorious of all the servants of the Most High was the Lord Jesus (Isa 42:1-7).

1. Filial Service, the Service of the Son. There is a tremendous difference between a mere servant and a sonservant. That is, between a mere hireling and one who, because of a recognised and proud relationship, renders the service more whole-heartedly and more devotedly. It is well to notice He was first Son, then servant, or may we put it-God's servant because He was God's beloved Son. Before we can become God's servants labouring in His vineyard, we must become His children through faith in Christ Jesus.

2. Compulsory Service, the Compulsion of Love. "The love of Christ constraineth us," was the testimony of St. Paul, and was the secret of his incessant and abundant labours in the Gospel. Love was the great constraining force in the life of Christ. It was because He loved the Father that He was so ready to place Himself at the Father's disposal; it was because He loved mankind that He so readily came to render the service of the Cross. Love should be the great dominating force in our lives.

3. Heart Service, not the Service of the Eye. How significant is the phrase used by St. Paul with regard to service. "Not with eye service as men pleasers." Our blessed Lord's service was a real heart service, and so should ours be.

4. Chosen Service, a Service by Wondrous Grace.

"My servant whom I have chosen" (Isa 43:10). Undoubtedly our gracious Master is referred to here. He was the chosen one of the Father. But how significant when we can place side by side with this, that amazing verse in John 15, "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you." We, too, are His chosen ones. He has some special work that we alone can do, for which His choice has fallen upon us.

5. Commissioned Service, not an Unrenewed Commission. "As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you." He came for a definite and specific work, and He has some definite and distinct work for us to do. It is the highest wisdom for all young Christians to place themselves entirely and unreservedly in the hands of the Redeemer,

6. Powerful Service, Energised by the Holy Ghost. "For He spoke with authority, and not as the Scribes," There was wonderful unction in all His addresses. Not one of His words fell to the ground. God save us preachers and speakers and Sunday School teachers from becoming as sounding brass and tinkling cymbal, a mere sound. But may there ever be recognised a definite power behind all that we say.

7. Sustained Service, Upheld by Wondrous Grace. Isa 42:1 clearly shows this. Is that not a significant phrase found in Rev 2:1, "He that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand," indicating the seven leaders of the seven churches in Asia upon whom so great a responsibility rested had special supporting grace given to them. He will sustain us. We, too, will always be held up by wondrous grace.

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