Day 13: Servant
“Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—it is written about me in the scroll. I desire
to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:7-8).
“For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45).
There are four of what are called “Servant Songs” in Isaiah. While we will find debate on who the servant is, depending on what side of the theological spectrum one may fall, those from an evangelical perspective find it easy to both see and defend the opinion that the servant is the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Isaiah’s servant checks many of the boxes epitomized by Jesus’ experience, particularly during His suffering leading up to the cross. John MacArthur says, “The word translated ‘servant’ refers to one who did hard work in obedience to his master. A true servant did not act independently to fulfill the desires of his own will, he sought only to please the one he served. The word describes someone who is duty bound to obey his master. It is an exact parallel of the English word ‘slave’.” Would this description not fit Jesus perfectly? Jesus repeatedly declared that He had come to do the will of the Father, not His own will. He said He had not come to be served but to serve.
By serving the Father so perfectly, Jesus did what the first Adam (and we) failed to do. His perfect obedience completely fulfilled the will of the Father. He also fulfilled all the Law. The humility He displayed in doing this is lauded in Philippians 2, where Paul says, “Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name” (vv. 5b-9). Just as Isaiah’s servant was a suffering, obedient servant, so was Jesus.
• What kind of example does Jesus set in regard to what a servant of God looks like?
• How does what we call “serving” God compare to the example Jesus set?
• Jesus told His disciples to follow His example in humbly serving one another.
(John 13:12-17). In what ways might this passage challenge you to step up your game? What are some specific ways you sense you are being called out in obedience to God, and in humbly serving others?
Lord, I honor Your servanthood! There is no one else who so fully obeyed God, so willingly did His will. Your obedience pierces through to my rebellion. Your humility stands in such sharp contrast to my pride. Your willingness to serve those who by rights should serve You challenges my motives and actions. Enable me to follow Your example more closely, more eagerly, more humbly.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries
Have questions about this blog? Email the author here.