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Jesus, the perfect servant

The greatest of all Messianic prophecies in the Tanakh (the Hebrew Scriptures / the Old Testament) concerning the advent of the Jewish Messiah is found in the 53rd chapter of the prophet Isaiah. This section of the Prophets, also known as the “Suffering Servant,” has been long understood by the historical Rabbis of Judaism to speak of the Redeemer who will one day come to Zion.

Isaiah 53 must be understood as referring to the coming Davidic King, the Messiah.

  • King Messiah was prophesied to suffer and die to pay for our sins and then rise again.
  • He would serve as a priest to the nations of the world and apply the blood of atonement to cleanse those who believe.
  • There is One alone to whom this view of the suffering servant can refer, Jesus the Messiah!

Jesus gave us a great example of how to serve.

When Jesus had washed their feet and put on his outer clothing, he reclined again and said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? You call me Teacher and Master—and you are speaking rightly, since that is what I am. So if I, your Master and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done for you. “Truly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his master, and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

John 13:12-17

Jesus clearly saw his role as one of a servant. Jesus came to serve and obey God’s will.

  • Luke 22:27 (CSB) — 27 For who is greater, the one at the table or the one serving? Isn’t it the one at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.
  • Matthew 20:28 (CSB) — 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”