Isaiah 53:4 – March 30, 2020

Yet it was our pain that he bore, our sufferings he endured. We thought of him as stricken, struck down by God and afflicted, Isaiah 53:4 NABRE          

Isaiah fifty-three has been called a part of the suffering servant verses. At the time of this prophecy from Isaiah it was considered predictions of what will happen to Israel. Today, scholars have attached this prophecy to Jesus. Reflection on Isaiah fifty-three sees Jesus quite clearly as the suffering servant. The quoted verse declares it is Jesus enduring our pain, our sufferings. Those who look on thought God was against Him, struck Him down, afflicted suffering upon Him. But it is not true. God is all goodness and love. It was us who pushed Jesus to the cross, our sins, our indiscretions, our wrong doing, our lack of love for one another, our inability to hear and follow God in obedience. Sin has entered the world and our fallen nature leads us to be selfish and self-centered. We don’t look after one another, we watch out for ourselves. We don’t treat others with love, we love things and stuff. We don’t help those poor and needy with all our power and might, we give out of our surplus. Jesus gave all He had to all who needed, without holding anything for Himself. For Jesus every other person comes first, and He puts Himself last. To be a servant, is to suffer for others. Love requires this response. 

Not convinced by Isaiah, Jesus Himself says, “For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) God is in the world to serve everyone. The all-powerful exercises power by using it to serve others, declaring this is how we use power. We each are powerful when we serve others. Certainly some do, but all followers of Jesus are called to serve. 

Do you understand this message? Do you believe it is better to serve?

Jesus gave all He had to all who needed, without holding anything for Himself. For Jesus every other person comes first, and He puts Himself last. To be a servant, is to suffer for others. Click To Tweet

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