The nameless servant

© July 24, 2018 | Schulter Etyang

The prophet’s words in Isaiah 42:1-9 reveal an unnamed servant.

“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,
My Elect One in whom My soul delights!

Who is this servant? Of course, the prophet’s prediction was about Jesus.

The prophet tells us that Jesus, the second person of the Godhead would show up, and be without a name, and be seen and not heard. 

He will not cry out, nor raise His voice,
Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street

This is ridiculous. We know what a servant does, right? The Hebrew word used is ebed from abad, which means to work, to serve, to enslave, to keep in bondage, to make to serve. 

You have to remember that in Genesis 2:1-3, God the first person of the Godhead finished his work. His work? Creation. But then Adam fell and God had to begin working again. This time around a particular type of work. In Isaiah 42, we see Jesus coming to do a certain type of work. Work? Yes! Let’s examine his work.

  • Bring forth justice to the Gentiles. Vs. 1
  • A bruised reed he will not break and a smoking flax he will not quench. Vs. 3
  • Given as a covenant to the people. Vs. 6
  • Light to the Gentiles. Vs. 6
  • Open blind eyes. Vs. 7
  • Bring out prisoners from the prison house. Vs. 7

When the Jews read this part of their scriptures, which they often did, then they would have been very perplexed. Why? Because it would have been unfathomable to them that their Messiah would come for the benefit of Gentiles. You have to know this, Jews considered Gentiles as outcasts, unqualified, and outsiders. 

What fascinates me about Jesus is that he came to serve. In his own words, I did not come to be served but to serve and give my life as a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45) The second person of the Godhead stooped so low to serve Gentiles – outcasts, unqualified and outsiders. That’s a stretch. No earthly royal does this. All earthly royals are served. Their people are known as subjects.

But with Jesus, he came to serve subjects. He served subjects so that subjects can become a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and God’s own special people (1 Peter 2:9) His service to us elevated us, changed us, transformed us, and made us brand new. This is how counterintuitive Jesus was/is.

I wonder sometimes whether in the Church we have lost this idea of Jesus as a servant. I find that our emphasis is on what we need to do for him, how we need to serve his bride the local Church, how we need to serve each other, how we need to change the world, etc. Yet, we haven’t really been served by him. We haven’t been delighted by his service to us. Probably, that’s why our young people are leaving the church in droves if all they hear is what they need to do for Jesus. 

I could go on and exegete what Jesus came to do as prescribed in Isaiah 42, but that’s a post for another time. For this post, I wanted you to know that Jesus is God’s servant to serve you. Jesus served you by his death on the cross; he serves you right now and will serve you, forever. In Revelation 1:13, John saw Jesus wearing a robe and golden sash around his chest. The robe signifies that he is king, and the golden sash signifies that he is a servant. The Greek root word for sash is zygos, which means to join, especially by a “yoke”); a coupling, i.e. (figuratively) servitude (a law or obligation). This word draws us a picture of Jesus coupled to us, in service to us. Wow. Jesus is the king and he is a servant. 

Would you allow this nameless servant to serve you? Would you? He won’t call any attention to himself. I know you are a self-made person. You have had to DIY your entire life. I know that you have had to fight for everything you have now. I know you don’t trust anyone, not even yourself. The consequences on your health, family, finances, relationships, as a result of always looking over your shoulders, though, have not been so good. 

I would suggest that you take Jesus’ offer. He wants to serve you. He is the only king who will not burden you. He came to work for you. He came to serve you. Would you? Please consider his offer. I think he would really delight your heart and change your life if you would let him serve you.

That’s what grace looks like








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Husband | Orthodox Charismatic Christian | Leads The Life Place | Enjoys meeting new people, reading, cooking, traveling and exercise | Loves Jo’burg

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