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Janet's Corner

Home | 2006-2007 | 2005-2006 | 2004-2005
Can you hear...Can you see...JESUS

God’s people were living in captivity while reading this book of comfort that Isaiah had written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. God’s purpose was to bring them comfort –strength. Part of that strength was hope in the midst of captivity.

 

I’ve been thinking about how the Israelites might have been feeling. Here’s some thoughts…discouraged, wondering what the future held, discontent, confused, impatient with their situation, wondering how they got where they re, fearful, anxious, hopeless, helpless… They would be looking for comfort. Wouldn’t you?  Isaiah gives them a glimpse of a future hope – Jesus! We need to see Jesus!

Throughout Isaiah’s prophecy he promises that God will preserve a remnant of his people. Last week we saw in chapter 41 that Isaiah promised deliverance from the Babylonian captivity through Cyrus, a rising world power. This week, we see that God restores their hope through the promise of a Savior and Jesus is His name.

 

Isaiah 42:1

‘Here is my servant, whom I uphold,  my chosen one in whom I delight;
       I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations”

 

As they look forward to that physical deliverance from oppression, God says that he has something greater in his plans – spiritual deliverance – release from spiritual and moral blindness and bondage. God wants to make things right.

We know from our previous study in Isaiah and again In Isaiah 42:24, that God’s children had been handed over to Babylon because they had not followed the ways of the Lord.

Who handed Jacob over to become loot,  and Israel to the plunderers?
       Was it not the LORD,  against whom we have sinned?
       For they would not follow his ways; they did not obey his law.

Because of their sin and unbelief, they had received judgment.

They had been blind and deaf to the things of God. God calls them to “hear” and “look.”

 

Read Isaiah 42:18-20

18 "Hear, you deaf;  look, you blind, and see!

 19 Who is blind but my servant, and deaf like the messenger I send?
 Who is blind like the one committed to me, blind like the servant of the LORD ?

 20 You have seen many things, but have paid no attention:  your ears are open, but you hear nothing."

 

Spiritual blindness and deafness to spiritual truth has been a theme throughout Isaiah. It was prevalent in Jesus’ time. In Matthew 23:6 Jesus addresses the blind Pharisees. It’s prevalent today. As individuals, as churches, as nations, in the world today, how we need our ears and eyes opened to spiritual truth. What’s the remedy? We need to see Jesus!

 

At the end of chapter 41, God pronounces judgment on the idols. They are false, worthless and a source of confusion. Then in verse 1 of chapter 42, in direct contrast to the previous verse, he bursts out with the news about Jesus – His servant. This is one of three servant songs in Isaiah about the Savior.

 

"Here is my servant, whom I uphold,  my chosen one in whom I delight;
       I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations”

 

This passage of scripture is quoted in Matthew 12:18 -21 and is identified to be fulfilled in the person of Jesus - God’s Son. Let’s ask the Lord to open our eyes and unstop our ears to what we need to consider about our Savior Jesus Christ. What can you understand today and take and by faith apply to your life?

Some of the translations say…Behold…take a look....at my servant.

1. His relationship with God – verse 1

* my servant  - which meant in the culture of the day – a trusted envoy or a confidential representative. So Jesus was to come as someone who was sent by Him, trusted by Him and who would represent Him. As God’s servant, Israel had been called to be God’s light and blessing to the nations, but rejected God’s power to fulfill their mission. So Jesus himself would be God’s servant to do what Israel failed to do, .intervening in the affairs of man. As that servant he would make the supreme sacrifice of laying his life down for the sheep, doing God’s will, accomplishing God’s purposes. He would be our Redeemer.

*whom I uphold – God would stand by Jesus and strengthen  him for the mission..

* my chosen one  - God called Jesus as his servant. Jesus did not thrust himself into the position. God knew He would carry out the Father’s will.

* in whom I delight – God doesn’t just enjoy Jesus, he is pleased with him, he finds favor with His Son. He is satisfied with the sacrifice for our sin.

2. His equipment to do God’s will – His Spirit to empower Him.

3. God’s purpose of the mission - to bring forth justice to the nations…not just the Jews, but Gentiles as well. He would call the Gentiles – that’s you and me. He would establish peace with God through His blood. He would rule with order and righteousness and faithfulness. This has been fulfilled through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He will set everything right.

4. His character -

* gentle -  vs 2 Jesus will not bring about his justice by violence or force, but by proclaiming truth, spiritual truth. His kingdom is spiritual and there fore its weapons are not carnal. The truth will set you free 

* merciful – vs 3 Jesus will mend broken lives. A reed and a smoldering wick signify fragile, helpless, instable lives. He won’t break those who are broken or snuff them out. He will strengthen them and fan the flame

*faithful – to his name and his mission.

5. His endurance – He will not falter or be discouraged in serving God.

 

What about you and me? As my strength, Jesus enables me to persevere in doing what God has called me to do. (vs 4)

Can we place our hope in this servant Jesus?  Isaiah points to the time when the hope of the Gentiles will be in God’s law, His Word. In Matthew 12, where this passage is quoted, it states that the Gentiles will place their hope in his name. Psalm 138:2 states that God has exalted above all else, His name and His Word. We can place our hope in Jesus. The word hope here is literally in the Hebrew to wait upon meaning “to bind together by twisting, to be gathered together, to be joined, to meet; to expect, to be confident, to be enduring.”

 

We need to wrap ourselves around Him – His name and His Word. -  as tightly as we can, placing our hope in Jesus. How close is your HOPE?

 

What is one of the foundations we base our hope on? Believing what He says is true. For as verse 5 says, “The LORD says” He is creator, the one who has given breath and life to those who walk the earth. He desires to bring life, where there seems to be no hope, life when death is all around.

 

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus and his righteousness.

 

What is it about Jesus that we can wrap our ourselves around? Why can we hope in Him?

- He is righteous - Who was called in righteousness.  We are helpless sinners. We need to be made right with God. We are made righteous through Christ. He is our righteousness.

- He will not be abandoned by the Father - Whom God will not let go, sustains him and

- He is made to be a covenant for the people. The covenant that God made with man through the law required obedience. The people had failed miserably to be obedient and therefore broke the covenant. We are no different without Jesus. Jesus has established a new covenant through his blood. As we believe and repent, we are forgiven, fulfilling the requirements of the new covenant. We are given a new heart to follow him.

Two blessings of the new covenant are light and liberty.

    1. Jesus will be the light – He is the light of the world

       To open eyes that are blind -  He wants you to see the wonderful things of his law and know them for yourself. By His Spirit he writes his law upon your heart.

       To release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

       Are their dark secrets in your heart, perhaps that have or could bring you great shame - that you think God can never release you from or forgive you for? That’s his mission – to release you from sitting in that darkness. He doesn’t want you to sit there anymore. He wants to deliver you from that domain of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son – the kingdom of light.

  

 

 2. To proclaim liberty to you!

       To free captives from prison:  Anyone being held captive? What’s imprisoning you? What’s holding you back?

 

As we look at the ministry of Jesus, we see that he literally heals the blind man, exposes the darkness that the Samaritan woman is living in, sets people free from demons that have imprisoned them. These give credibility to who Jesus is. His greater desire is that He would be able to heal the broken hearts of people. He wants to heal your heart. We get wounded, sometimes daily. He doesn’t want you to pull the shade down on your heart, he wants to heal you with the light of life. He doesn’t want you to slip into that dark prison that seems like your only safe place. He wants to open your eyes and fill you with the freedom of his grace, leading you out and strengthening you.

 

Verse 8 God proclaims this by the authority of the name through which he has made himself known. He is the LORD  -  it’s who He is – He will fulfill these promises to you, because He will not share His glory with anybody else.He will not franchise his glory! He  wants you to turn your eyes from those false, worthless, dumb idols, to the living God! He will not share his glory with any man or idol!

You can trust God  - verse 9. You’ve seen what he has done and he’s just going to show you again that he is faithful to keep his word to you. In fact, he is declaring these new things before they even come about. Do you have an expectation of God doing new things in your life?

 

I encourage you to take time to read verses 10-17 the song of praise  - the new song we can sing as we give glory to God for who He is as he brings light and liberty into our lives.

 

Which of you will listen to this or pay close attention in time to come?

 (vs 23)

 

Can you hear….Can you See….JESUS?

 

May God open the eyes of our hearts to the wonderful things in His Word, so that we place our hope in His name!!! (Psalm 119:18, Matthew 12:21)