For Sunday, January 13, 2008
The Baptism of the Lord
This passage talks about someone incredible whom the Lord mentioned before he (or she) was born, whose mouth is a sharp sword, and who is hidden as a special arrow in the Lord’s quiver.
Could this be Israel? Yes, as v. 3 makes clear: “You are my servant, Israel.” But… the Servant can’t merely be Israel, for the Servant has a ministry to Israel (v. 5): “to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself.” Well, okay then, the Servant must be Jesus. Yes but… in Acts 13:47 Paul and Barnabas, preaching in Pisidian Antioch, apply Isaiah 49:6 to themselves.
So the Servant is not just Israel, and not just Jesus, but also Jesus’ apostles. Could this extend even further, not only to Christ’s apostles, but to his followers? Who are Jesus’ followers? The church. In what is the church to be presently engaged? To bring salvation to the ends of the earth (Isa. 49:6).
Now then, if the Servant will bring salvation to the ends of the earth, and this same end is the mission of the church, who ultimately is the Servant of the Lord? I submit to you the Servant of the Lord is us. What special people God has made us to be. What greater joy could there then be than to give all of ourselves to the destiny marked out for us.
Lord, how would you have me serve today? What is the next step of faith you are calling me to take in solidarity with the glorious Son sitting at your right hand? Thank you that along with him, and along with your people Israel, you would deign to call me your Servant.