The Gospel According to Isaiah 53: Predictions about Jesus’s Life

Prediction #1- His identity would be a servant.

(13)  Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

Isaiah 52:13

Explanation:

Isaiah 53 really starts in Isaiah 52:13 and is the last of 4 “servant songs” in the book of Isaiah.

You can find these 4 songs in :

  • Isaiah 42:1-9
  • Isaiah 49:1-13
  • Isaiah 50:4-11

  • Here in Isaiah 52:13- 53:12.

It is clear from these servant songs that the Messiah is in view, as we shall see here in Isaiah 53, and some of the other passages in the coming messages. With that in mind, let’s read the first verse in this section

Some of the confusion that the jews had about Jesus many still have to this day. They understood the Messiah to be a conquering king. From this passage though, we learn that the Messiah would be a servant.  He was a servant of God.

As we look at this verse in particular, the scripture starts out by saying that the servant shall “deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high”. Why would this servant song start this way?  Because he is about to predict his bloody torture, death, and sacrifice.

As you will see from the coming points, the Messiah would be a servant and come to serve. In these servant songs you see a contrast between being rejected, and being successful. You see a contrast between being a servant and being worshipped. You see a contrast between being humble and being exalted.

This is exactly what we saw in the life of Jesus. Here is what he told his apostles:

(8)  But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

(9)  And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

(10)  Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

(11)  But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

Matthew 23:8-11

This theme and instruction is also seen in Matthew 20.

(25)  But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

(26)  But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

(27)  And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

(28)  Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Matthew 20:25-28

Jesus made the statement that His whole reason for coming was to serve.  He backed it up not only with his ministry- doing things like washing the disciples’ feet, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, teaching the Word, and reaching people.  He ultimately served by giving his life a ransom for ministry.

Application:

Of course, it is worth stating that to be a Christ follower we must be servants as well. To be like him is to put others ahead of ourselves. Our orientation toward each other would be to serve each other. Even leaders ought to be servant leaders. 

Response:

Heavenly Father, please make me a servant. Help me to have the mind of Christ. He knew that He was God and yet still came to serve. Help me to serve those in my care well today. Amen.

Battle Ready: Battlefield Prayer

 We must pray because prayer is essential in spiritual battle.  We can see how essential it is by observing three elements of battlefield prayer.

  1. The Occasion of Battlefield Prayer. (v. 18a.)
  2. The Persistence of Battlefield Prayer. (v.18b)
  3. The Requests of Battlefield Prayer. (v.18-20)

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Battle Ready: The Requests of Battlefield Prayer- Boldness

Highlight

that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

(20)  For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Ephesians 6:19b-20

Explanation:

The second thing he prayed for in verses 19 and 20 is closely connect to utterance. Paul prayed for boldness.

It is critical to know what to say at the moment of opportunity.  This is utterance. It is just as important to have the courage to say it at the moment of opportunity.  This is boldness. Boldness includes exactly what he is making request for to them- “that I may open my mouth…”. Speaking up instead of remaining silent takes boldness.

The content Paul was giving was the “mystery of the gospel”.  He saw himself as “an ambassador” of the Gospel “in bonds”.  Do not miss that He was in jail as he wrote this letter.  Do you think that if you were in jail for the gospel’s sake that you might be tempted to be silent?  Do you think that boldness would be elusive?

Paul saw boldness as a duty- as a part of being an ambassador.  Look at that the last phrase:  “…that therein (in bonds) I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Application

Do you see utterance of the Gospel and boldness to declare the Gospel as duty? Do you see the importance of praying for boldness? In my mind, Paul is quite bold.  Yet, there is something in him that makes him that keeps him from speaking up for Christ.  It’s for that reason he asks the Ephesians to pray for hm to be bold. If that is the case for Paul, it must be the case for us.

Response

God, give me boldness to speak the Gospel for you today!

Battle Ready: The Requests of Battlefield Prayer- Utterance

Highlight

(19)  And for me, that utterance may be given unto me,

Ephesians 6:19a

Explanation:

Paul gives us an example here.  He is not shy to begin to request prayers from the Ephesians now for himself.  What he asks prayer for is instructive.  He is not praying for deliverance. Remember he is writing this from jail.

He is not praying for healing or provision of a physical or financial kind.

He prays here for utterance.  He wants to say the right word, in the right way, at the right time.  Why is this important to him?   The advancement in this battle is the advancement of the Gospel. He is taking the message of the Gospel, this stewardship of the mystery that has been given to him, to the uttermost part of the earth.  He was speaking to people in places of power, and to those who were normal, everyday people.  He needed to be able to speak well.

Application

What a great prayer request in the midst of spiritual battle.  Paul had already affirmed “speaking the truth in love” as a mark of mature ministry.  It is an important thing for us to pray for as well.  We ought to speak as we have opportunity.  Our prayer for ourselves, and for each other should be for God to give us the right word to say at the write time, especially when it comes to proclaiming the Gospel.

Response:

God give me the words to day and help me to faithfully look for opportunities today.