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Jesus is the perfect Servant of the Lord, but God’s grace allows ordinary people to serve along with him.
Our service may resemble the elephant and the flea who crossed a swinging bridge. After they had traveled a shaking bridge, the flea whispered in the elephant’s ear, “We really shook ’em, didn’t we?”
Without Jesus, no one could be a servant. However, we humans are given the privilege of playing an important role in his ministry to the world.
As we read the words of Isaiah, they apply first to Jesus, but also to us.
God and His Servants
It is a high honor to serve an earthly dignitary. People covet the opportunity to be part of the entourage of a famous person.
In contrast to the rich and famous of earth, the One who calls us into his service says this:
Thus says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people upon it
and spirit to those who walk in it. (Isaiah 42.5)
We could say that we serve the Creator, but Isaiah’s poetry says it better. He challenges us to look at the heavens and the abundance of the earth.
He invites us to consider people and how without God’s life-giving breath, no one would exist.
This is the One who has chosen us for service. How can we reasonably think lightly of this magnificent invitation?
The Nature of Service
Jesus perfectly modeled the kind of service that Isaiah prophesied.
I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness,
I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as a covenant to the people,
a light to the nations,
To open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness. (Isaiah 42.6-7)
— Jesus is the perfect light to the nations.
He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8.12).
He, also, intends his followers to be light. His words in the Sermon on the Mount make this fact clear.
He said, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5.16).
— Jesus often gave sight to the blind. He is pleased to share with us this opportunity to be of service.
The way we conduct our lives and speech allows people to see the reality of God and his love. This is extremely important because how we live will either draw people to Jesus or repel them.
— Jesus set people free from the prison of sickness, sin, and self.
A study of Jesus’ ministry reveals frequent instances of healing and deliverance from evil spirits.
One of the greatest joys in life is to tell someone the story of Jesus, see them surrender their lives to him, and receive the life they have always wanted but didn’t know was possible.
I have actively served Jesus since 1968. No paycheck or award can compare to witnessing a life that is transformed by the love of God. This is the abundant joy of being a partner with Jesus in his ministry.
Servants Bring Glory to God
Jesus prayed the night before his crucifixion and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you” (John 17.1).
There is a covering over the minds and hearts of people that keeps us from seeing the nature and character of God.
On the cross, Jesus removed the cover and perfectly displayed who God is.
Isaiah knew quite well how wrong it is to confuse the One True God with idols of human creation.
I am the Lord, that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to idols. (Isaiah 42.8)
God wants us to know him because we become like the God or gods that we serve.
As people who have the honor of serving with Jesus, we do well to imitate Jesus’ prayer. “Father, glorify your Son through my attitudes and actions, so that your Son may glorify you.”
About This Blog
Rudy Ross and I produce a daily video of these blog articles on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel. Rudy is Jewish, a Christian, and an excellent Bible student. The videos present insights from a dialogue with the two of us.
I am indebted to Dr. John Oswalt, who has written an excellent two-volume commentary on Isaiah for insights into the Book of Isaiah.
Please email your prayer requests to me at email@example.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood Baptist Church prayer team will pray for you.