Isaiah 49:1-7

Let us worship the Lord Jesus as we see His greatness revealed in the prophecy of Isaiah 49:1-7.

Jesus, the Servant of the Lord, has a great calling (vv. 1-3).
What the Servant would do has worldwide significance; he was called not only to Israel but to all the Gentiles, the people from afar (v. 1). All of us who are Gentiles should celebrate this!

God called the servant from the womb (v. 1). God’s all-important call shaped His entire life, beginning to end.

God used the servant’s words and life as ancient warriors used the weapons of sword and arrow (v. 2). God would use Jesus to defeat evil and rescue those imprisoned by Satan.

God hid the Servant (v. 2), and He did this out of necessity. The only way Jesus could redeem us on the cross was for His full glory—of which several of the disciples had a glimpse on the Mount of Transfiguration—to be hidden from His enemies. Nations at war often conceal their most powerful weapons.

God called the servant Israel (v. 3), because Jesus was the embodiment and chief representative of the nation of Israel, the people of God chosen to display God’s righteousness, wisdom and power in the earth. God had referred to Israel as His son in a figurative sense (Ex. 4:22), but Jesus was God’s true and unique Son.

God intended to glorify Himself through the servant (v. 3). The highest calling any person can have is to show forth the glory of God, and no person has done that as Jesus did.

The Servant has great trust in the Lord (v. 4).
The Servant felt as though He labored in vain, because when Jesus was crucified, virtually everyone in Israel rejected Him. Even so, the Servant has confidence God will make everything right for Him. Jesus has unshakable trust in His Father.

Most of us can identify with Jesus Christ. We know what it is to be in situations that don’t make sense. Still, we can trust in our Father. Jesus is our greatest example of what it means to trust in the Father.

The Servant is so great that God enlarges His calling (vv. 5-6).
Initially, God called Jesus, His Servant, to restore only Israel (v. 5; see Matt. 15:24). When Jesus was raised from the dead, the trust Jesus had in his Father was vindicated. God honored and strengthened His Servant (v. 5). God gave Him authority over all creation (see Matt. 28:18).

Following the resurrection of Jesus, God revealed to Jesus’ apostles the gospel is intended not only for Israel, but for all the nations of the world (v. 6; see Acts 10).

The day is coming when even the most powerful rulers of earth will honor the Servant for His greatness (v. 7).
Isaiah foretells a great contradiction the gospels later reveal—that despite the greatness of the Servant, despite Him being called by Israel’s Lord, Redeemer and Holy One—the people of Israel largely have despised Jesus. In another great contradiction, this great Servant Jesus willingly humbled Himself to serve human rulers (v. 7). At the end of the age, however, the tables will be turned and human rulers will join all humanity to bow before the resurrected and reigning Jesus to honor Him. All will proclaim Jesus Christ is Lord!

Jesus Christ, the Servant of God, is greater than we can imagine. Someday His greatness will be fully revealed; when that happens, those who have disregarded Jesus will experience the greatest astonishment in human history. We know what it is to be astonished, for example when in a political election, a dark-horse candidate with little financial backing, no support from the establishment, and scant media attention not only defeats but trounces the incumbent; or when a tiny high school basketball team from a rural area demolishes the big-city, perennial superpower in the state championship game. Multiply that astonishment times 10 or 100 or 1,000 to sense the astonishment of the people of this world when at the last day the greatness of Jesus Christ will be revealed.

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