14 day plan

Signposts to Christ from Isaiah

Day 7 of 14

Isaiah 52:13-15

The Suffering Servant

13The Lord says,

“My servant will succeed in his task;

he will be highly honored.

14Many people were shocked when they saw him;

he was so disfigured that he hardly looked human.

15 But now many nations will marvel at him,

and kings will be speechless with amazement.

They will see and understand

something they had never known.”

Reflection:  The unnamed servant of Isaiah is a thought- provoking figure. It is a poetic picture of a person that suffers violently on behalf of their community. The setting of this passage in Isaiah is during the exile in Babylon.  The whole section of Isaiah 52:13-53:12, begins and ends in victory. This courageous person confronts powerful rulers to see God’s will enacted. But their success comes at great personal cost and suffering.  The New Testament sees the connection of this passage to Jesus. The cross is the place of triumph over God’s
enemies. The place of the suffering and disfigurement of Christ.  Yet, as the disciples of Jesus take his message of good news throughout the world, people will hear and believe. Paul uses this passage to encourage evangelism (Romans 15:21) to allow those who have not heard to understand.

Question: Who can you share the good news with today?

Prayer:  Lord, your good news continues to be heard across the whole world. Help us to see how we can contribute to sharing the message of Christ to those who have not heard.

Isaiah 52:1-15

God Will Rescue Jerusalem

1 Jerusalem, be strong and great again!

Holy city of God, clothe yourself with splendor!

The heathen will never enter your gates again.

2Shake yourself free, Jerusalem!

Rise from the dust and sit on your throne!

Undo the chains that bind you,

captive people of Zion!

3The Sovereign Lord says to his people, “When you became slaves, no money was paid for you; in the same way nothing will be paid to set you free. 4When you went to live in Egypt as foreigners, you did so of your own free will; Assyria, however, took you away by force and paid nothing for you. 5 And now in Babylonia the same thing has happened: you are captives, and nothing was paid for you. Those who rule over you boast and brag and constantly show contempt for me. 6In time to come you will acknowledge that I am God and that I have spoken to you.”

7 How wonderful it is to see

a messenger coming across the mountains,

bringing good news, the news of peace!

He announces victory and says to Zion,

“Your God is king!”

8Those who guard the city are shouting,

shouting together for joy.

They can see with their own eyes

the return of the Lord to Zion.

9Break into shouts of joy,

you ruins of Jerusalem!

The Lord will rescue his city

and comfort his people.

10The Lord will use his holy power;

he will save his people,

and all the world will see it.

11 Be sure to leave Babylonia,

all you that carry the Temple equipment.

Touch no forbidden thing;

keep yourselves holy and leave.

12This time you will not have to leave in a hurry;

you will not be trying to escape.

The Lord your God will lead you

and protect you on every side.

The Suffering Servant

13The Lord says,

“My servant will succeed in his task;

he will be highly honored.

14Many people were shocked when they saw him;

he was so disfigured that he hardly looked human.

15 But now many nations will marvel at him,

and kings will be speechless with amazement.

They will see and understand

something they had never known.”