This third Servant Song reveals some shocking insights into the mission of the Servant.
The first thing to note is that the Servant is going to carry out the mission which God entrusts Him with. ‘I was not disobedient, nor did I turn back’ (v5). He is going to be given instructions by God and carry them out in full. This sounds impressive even at first glance, but then we read that there will be consequences to this obedience. Following God’s mission through to completion will lead, shockingly, to mistreatment by others. It will lead to being beaten, having His beard pulled out, being humiliated and being spat upon (v6). This has a very different feel from what was communicated in the first two Songs. The Servant is not going to be universally well-received. His mission will only be completed if He undergoes personal suffering. The Servant’s mission, as we have seen, is to be a light to the nations (this needs to be link to previous post) and, as such, is solely for the purpose of saving others. Yet this will not be recognised and instead He will suffer.
However, the Servant can take heart from the fact that the Lord God Himself will help Him. The Servant will not be ashamed or disgraced (v7) even though the actions towards Him will aim to do exactly that (e.g. pulling out His beard). God will vindicate Him (v8) and help Him (v9). Ultimately there will be no case to answer for the Servant and none will be able to condemn Him.
Jesus, at the end of His earthly ministry prayed, ‘I have accomplished the work You have given Me to do’ (John 17:4). In this prayer Jesus anticipates the glory which is due to follow His suffering (v5). In His mind, God will not abandon Him through the human humiliation of the cross and all the suffering that came before it. Ultimately He will be vindicated and glorified by God.
Further reading: John 17:1-12
To think about:
Have there been times when your words or actions have not been well-received? How did you deal with this?
|Journal page by Bernice|
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