Servant Song 1 – Isaiah 42:1-9

Servant Song 1 – Isaiah 42:1-9

by Jason DeRouchie, Tom Kelby, and Jack Yaeger | A Month in the Servant Songs


JY: Welcome to Gear Talk, a podcast on biblical theology. Today, we’re beginning a new series, a month in the Servant Songs. Over these next weeks, we’ll be looking at the four poems in Isaiah, describing Yahweh’s Servant. Who is he? What does he do? Why does his life matter for me and for the world? As with our month in the Psalms, we’ve created an album cover for this month in the Servant Songs series. Be sure to go to our show notes and download the album cover. Tom and Jason refer to this album cover throughout this podcast. You’ll also find other Jason Derouchie lecture notes on the Servant Songs.

TK: Welcome to Gear Talk, Jason, are you there?

JD: I am here. Good to be back.

TK: It is good to be back. I’m sitting here and I’m looking at a yellow album cover that Mark did and it says a month in the Servant Songs. We’re not together, but Jason, you have the same thing up in front of you, right?

JD: I do and I love it.

Album Cover Overview: Four Pictures of the Servant

TK: This is something if you—on the show notes, you can download a PDF and this is an album cover for what we’re going to be covering for the next four podcast. So, Jason, why don’t you let everybody know what’s coming up?

JD: Alright, the Servant Songs. This is a specific set of poems in the book of Isaiah. Isaiah is the first Old Testament book to explicitly use the language of the gospel in association with the age of the Messiah. And within this book, there are three key titles that are associated with this future figure who will save not only some from Israel but save some from the world. And those three titles are associated with a king, a Servant, and an anointed conqueror. So, early in the book we get this vision of the king. We’re going to talk about him a little bit today. And then as we move on in the book this royal figure becomes embodied in one called the Servant. And then at the end of the book, we read texts like Isaiah 61, which Jesus used to kick off his ministry when he said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, and he has anointed me,”—that’s that word—“Anointed me to bring good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18). So, this figure is an anointed or messianic—that’s what the word “Messiah” means: the anointed one—he’s a an anointed conqueror. So, three different images for the same person. And what we want to do over these next four episodes or so is focus specifically on this middle group, where a Servant person is mentioned. Now from Isaiah 40 to Isaiah 53 the Servant is all—shows up, that term shows up twenty different times, always in the singular, and then after Isaiah 53—think about what happens in Isaiah 53. That is where the Servant actually suffers on behalf of the many and saves a people that become his offspring—after Isaiah 53, from Isaiah 54 to Isaiah 66, the term Servant occurs a number—another eleven times, but always in the plural.

TK: So something changes.

JD: Something changes after this culminating work, that we see realized in the cross, the Servant person gives rise to a sea of servants who follow him and through whom he fulfills his mission. But what’s intriguing here in Isaiah 40 to 53, which is going to be the focus of our next several episodes, the servant, when it occurs those twenty times, always in the singular, sometimes refers to a person and sometimes refers to a people. So we read, for example in Isaiah 41:8, “But you Israel, my servant Jacob, whom I have chosen the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, ‘You are my servant, I have chosen you and I have not cast you off” (Isa 41:8–9). Here in this context, talking about a redeemed people, it seems as though God is referring to a people as his servant. And what’s intriguing is that in this whole section, usually the servant people is portrayed as sinful as rebellious, as in Isaiah 42:18 and following. We read this, “Hear, you deaf, and look, you blind, that you may see!” Now when it uses the word “you” both of those instances are in the plural: hear, all of you deaf, look, all of you blind that you may see. And then he says, “Who is blind but my servant, or deaf as my messenger whom I send? Who is blind as my dedicated one, or blind as the servant of the Lord? He sees many things, but does not observe them; his ears are open, but he does not hear” (Isa 42:19–20). And then it specifically says, “But this is a people plundered and looted; they are all of them trapped in holes and hidden in prisons” (Isa 42:22). That’s the judgment of God against his servant, singular, his servant people. But that’s not all that we hear about a Servant in this section. Beginning in Isaiah 42 and stretching all the way to Isaiah 53, there are four key poems that speak of a Servant who is not rebellious, who does exactly what God calls him to do. This Servant is none other than the one we know of as the Christ, and we want to spend these weeks celebrating this particular Servant as he is revealed in these four Servant Songs, and that brings us back to our cover.

TK: So we have this cover and if you can pull it up, it would be great either now. If you’re driving, obviously you can’t do it. But again, go to the show notes, pull up the PDF that Mark created. So, the cover is yellow and in our logo it says Gear. The six gears, remember, symbolize six different sections in the Bible: he Law, the Prophets, the Writings in the Old Testament, in the New Testament, we’d have the Gospels and Acts (history books) and then the Letters and then Revelation. So, six sections, and the second section in our gears, here is yellow, symbolizing the prophets, so this album cover is yellow, symbolizing Isaiah is in the section called the Prophets. Jason. What can you tell us about this section? What books are in this section in the Hebrew ordering of the of the Old Testament?

JD: So Jesus’s Bible had the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. And as you said, this is the middle section of Jesus’s Old Testament. Here it breaks down into two parts. There’s the history books that clarify what happened in the history of the covenant: this is Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings. In Jesus’s Bible, these are called the Former Prophets. And then we move into the Latter Prophets that clarify why Israel’s history went the way it did. So, we get figures like Isaiah in this unit, and he grows out of the prophetic voice in the Old Testament. And we are in our Gear Talk Biblical theology podcast just wanting to cover all six different parts of Scripture and showing how all of them like a sweet moving transmission are just working together so that in the Scriptures we have of a perfectly harmonized, beautiful message that God has given his church that magnifies his Son, that testifies to all that the Father is doing by the Son through the work of the Spirit.

TJ: I love it.

JD: These weeks, a month in these Servant Songs, and as I said, there’s four of them and that’s why on this album cover, we’ve got four different images. It begins down in this bottom left corner with a person in prison. And yet the doors are swung wide open and there’s light intruding into that prison. And in all four of these pictures, the Servant is present, and he’s depicted in all four different poems in different ways. And we tried to capture the place the Servant has in each of these poems by the lighter yellow as it pierces into the darker yellow. And so in this first image what we have is the Servant represented as light piercing into this prison. So Tom, tell me from the first Servant Song, why have we depicted it this way?

TK: Well, we were looking for an image that would capture, if you wanted to summarize it, what the Servant Song was saying and if we went to 42:6–7, and by the way, you can download this also. So we did this with our album cover for the Psalms as well Mark put a circle with the verse numbers on it. So 42:6–7, it says, “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness”—talking about the Servant, and as Jason said, the obedient Servant. “I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the darkness, those who are—from the prison, those who sit in darkness.” So this is a part of this Servant Song that’s meant to remind us of, oh that’s what the message was of that Servant Song.

JD: And the Servant is that light piercing into the darkness of the prison in order to set a prisoner free. It’s beautiful.

TK: Then if—the way Mark arranged this album cover—if you started at the bottom left and then you move to the right and up, there’s an image of a man shooting a bow and he has a quiver strapped, strapped over his shoulder, and the man isn’t actually the lighter color that Jason was talking about. Instead, it’s the bow, and it’s the quiver. So why do we do it that way, Jason?

JD: Well, because in Isaiah 49, the Servant person actually talks and he says that Yahweh, his God, “made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand he hid me” (Isa 49:2). And then it says, “He made me a polished arrow; in his quiver he hid me” (Isa 49:2). So this Servant is like a an arrow that is ready to be shot from God’s bow to fulfill the exact purpose that he is intended. And when God shoots his arrow of purpose, it always lands where it’s supposed to land. It’s a piercing mission that this Servant has. And so in this image of the archer, what’s highlighted is both the quiver and the arrow, because that’s the role the Servant is playing in at least one of the images within this poem.

TK: Something to notice as I’m looking at this album cover—just the way it progresses—one thing is that the two images on the right side, those Servant Songs are autobiographies, so it’s the Servant speaking. The two on the left side are not the Servant speaking, he’s being spoken about. So it’s a way to kind of divide it and say, OK, the ones on the left, the man in prison, and then, we’re going to get to it, there’s a sheep being led. Those are speaking about the Servant. But the ones on the right, we’re going to get the Servant’s own words in those ones.

JD: That’s right, he is—it’s just amazing that God revealed—he spoke to Isaiah, through Isaiah in such a way that Isaiah is not even present. In fact, the words we hear are the very words of Jesus Christ himself, as if he was present and talking 700 years before he even showed up on the scene. That’s how it’s presented. Very similar to how we described the voice of this suffering, triumphant ruler, when we walked through the Psalms in our month and the Psalms. So that autobiographical approach to the Servant matched by the biographical approach, we saw the same thing in the Psalms, where some Psalms were in first person, where the king, the royal figure is talking about himself. And other psalms it’s other people talking about the king, praying for the king. So very similar pattern that we’re seeing in the Servant Songs compared to what we already saw in the Book of Psalms.

TK: I would say one more thing as I’m looking at the album cover and as the movement starting at the prison. So, the Servant is not the prisoner in that one, but there’s a movement where you can see more progressively in each one that the Servant in doing his job, is suffering. And it’s not really pictured in the first one. It’s spoken of in the second one. You can see it clearly, though, in the third image, where the Servant, the one who’s lit up there, his beard is being pulled. So where do we get that, Jason?

JD: We get it straight out of Isaiah 50:6, where the Servant himself, speaking of himself says, “I gave my back to those who strike and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard, I hid not my face from disgrace, and from spitting.” And we really get an image—even Jesus, in the process of his passion, in the process of his suffering through the crucifixion, what he endured, it’s not only Isaiah 53 that speaks this way it’s already being anticipated in Isaiah 50. And even as we’re going to see in Isaiah 49.

TK: It makes you, just again looking at the image of the prisoner with the open door—the cost to open the prison doors to set us free was tremendous.

JD: It was tremendous, and it would be tremendous if it was, but a man, but here we have the God man who came as God, lowering himself, humbling himself, taking the form and likeness of humans being, tempted in every way as we are, even obeying his Father to the point of death. This is a level of suffering endured by no other person in all the history of the world, because of the level of the cost. And it’s because of this, I believe, that in a in six short hours of his suffering at the cross he could pay for the penalty for all those throughout all time. An eternal penalty that was due, he could pay it and satisfy God’s wrath in that period because of the level to which he lowered himself and suffered as the God man.

TK: I’m thinking of Paul speaking in Thessalonians, and he was talking about persecutors who are stopping the gospel going forth and he said they hate all mankind. And that thought of the person pulling on Jesus’s beard—there, the Servant’s beard—and just saying this is a person who is hating the one, the only one who can open the prison doors.

JD: That’s right. It’s really much even a recollection of Psalm 2, where you’ve got the nations raging, the peoples plotting in vain and to whom are they plotting against? It is Yahweh and his Anointed, the very one who came to save them is the one they are rejecting, stumbling over. It is intense suffering and it’s depicted for us here 700 years before Jesus even arrives on the Earth. And so it is that God has fulfilled what the prophets proclaimed. What all the prophets proclaimed, that the Christ would suffer, Acts 3:18.

TK: So moving so those two again the arrow and the quiver and the Servant with his beard being pulled, those are autobiographical, then we move back to the left and now I’m looking, Jason, at a sheep being led and the sheep is lit up. And that one we’re saying is biographical.

JD: It is, and here you’ve got the sheep being led, and there’s even a man standing nearby with the knife. So this is intended to recall Isaiah 53:7 where it says of the Servant, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.” We don’t attempt in the album cover to capture everything. What we’re trying to do is get into each of these Servant Songs and capture a key element that depicts the role of the Servant. He is the light piercing into the darkness. He is the arrow ready for God to use as he will. He is the one who is oppressed and afflicted, even his beard is pulled out. He is the lamb that has led to the slaughter, for the salvation of sinners like you and like me.

TK: I want one thing before we move on, and what we’re going to do in this next time is right now is just focus on the first Servant Song. But the logo, where it says Gear Talk, Biblical Theology, just looking at it, the person speaking on the left, he’s—the one gear is lit up, the second gear from the prophets. It’s almost like if I called you, Jason, and I said, Jason, I am thinking about Isaiah 42 and this Servant Song. And in his response, so the person responding, it would be like Jason being able to say, oh I could talk about the Servant from every single section of the scriptures.

JD: That’s right. And I and I anticipate that in some way or another, we’re going to do that in the next several episodes, just showing how really the whole Bible is interrelated. It progresses, it integrates, and it climaxes in Jesus and every single part is contributing to the purposes of God, what we call the whole counsel of God from Genesis to Revelation, from creation all the way to consummation. And these Servant Songs play a key part in that overall presentation of what God is doing in this world, in creation through redemption, through the work of his Servant, his anointed Servant King, by the power of the Spirit. What we’re looking at this ultimate Trinitarian story, it is his story, and we’re going to catch a glimpse of it in these Servant Songs in a beautiful way.

TK: All right. Well, Jason, Are you ready? Should we go to the first one?

Identity of the Servant: A Spirit-Anointed David, Bringing a New Exodus

JD: Let’s do it. So, we’re in Isaiah 42 and specifically we’re looking at Isaiah 42:1–9, but they have an overall context, and part of that context includes a vision of a new exodus. So even if we go to the previous chapter and we look at Isaiah 41:17–20, we read this, “When the poor and the needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer … I will open up rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I’ll make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, the olive. I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together.” You have this image of restoration of new-creational transformation, and it really sets the context, then for this vision of what is laid out. God says, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations” (Isa 42:1). So, let’s just start right there, Tom. Verse one and already we have a number of recollections that put us within the framework of this whole book. This isn’t the first time that we’ve read about one upon whom the Spirit rests and who will bring justice to nations.

TK: I think this is a remarkable part of Isaiah as well as the—is the vision of a person. First of all, I wrote in my notes as I was reflecting on this, saying that I don’t want to forget this, that the Servant Songs need to produce in us a love for the world. And a love for the nations, because it’s an overriding theme here that the Servant came that, the Servant was sent, the arrow was shot for all the nations for the ends of the earth. But this is—Isaiah has been telling this story from the from the very beginning.

JD: That’s right, you get the nations in Isaiah 2 gathering to this elevated Jerusalem. You get the promise of a virgin-born son whom is a child king in the line of David. In fact, he gets that title in Isaiah chapter 9, along with Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, and the government is on his shoulders and his peace extends to the ends of the earth. It captures in all the nations. And then in Isaiah 11, it’s this figure that we’re told—this royal son that has the spirit of God resting upon him, and within the book up to this point, it’s that figure who we’re told comes from the stump of Jesse. He’s like a shoot of Jesse. Jesse was David’s father, and it’s intriguing—in Isaiah 11, it doesn’t say that it’s from the stump of David. No, it’s from the stump of Jesse, suggesting that the one that we’re talking about is a new David. And that’s exactly how he was portrayed in chapter 9.

TK: That’s really helpful.

JD: The spirit of the Lord is resting upon him. He is like a movable temple and he is, I love this, he’s—God himself says he is my Servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights. This is really an image of—it reminds me of God’s words at Jesus’s baptism when he says this is my son, in whom I am well pleased.

TK: And the same context right there—the Spirit coming down and resting on him. That’s the next thing it says. I have put my Spirit upon him.

JD: That’s right. So, God is delighting in this son, and it really stands in contrast to just the previous chapter where it says of the idols that Israel so often followed, “You are nothing, and your work is less than nothing, an abomination is he who chooses you” (Isa 41:24). God is saying some strong words here as Israel chooses the idols. They are worth nothing. But when God chooses this one, this Servant, he delights in him. He puts his Spirit upon him, and he gives him this ministry of bringing justice to the nations.

The Manner of the Servant: Humble Justice, Gentle Instruction

He describes it in such a beautiful way. This justice image, he says, “He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street” (Isa 42:2). His task is not self-advancing or assertive. He, it says then, “A bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice” (Isa 42:3). So, as he works for the sake of the nations in an unjust world, he is working for the weak. I just love the image: a bruised reed he will not break, a faintly burning wick he will not quench. You might feel like you’re almost lost, like there’s nothing left in you to keep going. Just the light from your candle is so dim. And yet, if you encounter Jesus, he’s not one who will snuff you out. Indeed, it says, “He will not grow faint or be discouraged.” Now you can’t see this in the Hebrew, but the language of growing faint is the same as a faintly burning wick and the language of growing discouraged, it’s the exact same term for a bruised reed. So, he will not grow discouraged even as he works for those who are discouraged. He will not grow faint even as he works for those who are faint. It’s such a beautiful comfort to us in a wearying, cursed world that we have a Servant-savior. He is serving God. And what that service looks like—what is his ministry? To come and give weak people like you and me and like those who are listening—if they will but turn to him, cry out for help, they will find a helper who will work justice and who will not grow faint or discouraged even as he works for those who need courage and who feel like they are faintly burning.

TK: I think this, for the church, is so encouraging because it says here that, verse one, he will bring forth justice to the nations, he is going to accomplish his task and right here it says that “He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law” (Isa 42:4). That if we’re thinking that there should be a—almost like Elijah seems like he thought when he came back after Mount Carmel and went back to Mount Sinai and the Lord said to him, what are you doing here? If we have a thought it’s not working, Lord, your methods don’t work, your gospel doesn’t work, this the Servant is not accomplishing what he said he was going to accomplish. Here, the promise is he will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth. He’s going to do it. He’s doing it right.

JD: He is and it will be accomplished. That is our living hope here. Here it mentions the coast lands that is a picture of the most distant shores. So, we have exploded the bounds of the original promised land. And now we’ve gone global. And these coastlands are waiting for his law. In Isaiah 2 it mentioned how the nations, the peoples of the earth, in the latter days, would gather to a transformed mountain of God to a transformed temple, and it says they would go so that he might teach them his ways so that they might hear God’s law, because out of Zion would go forth the law. And now what we’re learning is that the way that it goes for: as the nations are gathered in, it’s through the teaching of this Servant person. Think about Jesus, “All authority in heaven on earth has been given to me, so make disciples of the coastlands go out and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:18–19). And then he says, explaining what that discipleship would look like, part of it is “teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you” (Matt 28:20). So there it is, the instruction, the law that the coastlands are longing for in a lawless world. It’s increasingly feeling that way: unjust, unlawful. Turn to Jesus and find the way, the only way of life and it’s filled with true justice, where the wrath of God is satisfied and where our hope can be that all oppression and all injustice will ultimately be eradicated, because to him is the vengeance. And he will work it through his Servant.

TK: The picture—I’m looking again at the album cover here— the picture of mixing even the picture of the prisoner waiting to be released and it’s almost like that picture—he’s been in the dark so long he can barely open his eyes and imagine what it would be like out in the dark. But that thought of somebody gently leading a prisoner out into the light and saying you are free. Now go and be productive. So, this passage is quoted in Matthew chapter 12. And it’s right after—so Matthew 12:9, Jesus enters a synagogue and it says there’s a man there with a withered hand. And the people are watching, the leaders are watching because they don’t want that man to be healed because they have their own set of rules. And Jesus does exactly what this passage is doing. He sets this man free and then it’s going to go immediately after that, in verse 15, it’s going to say, “Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there, many followed him and he healed them all, ordered them not to make him known” (Matt 12:15–16). He’s not, like Isaiah says, crying aloud in the street. “This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, ‘Behold my Servant, whom I’ve chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not quench” (Matt 12:18–20). And you get this picture of this man with a withered hand, and he’s become almost a joke and something that the leaders are only using him as a pawn to, you know, make sure that their ways go forward. But Jesus saying, no I am the one to set you free.

JD: And he brings hope. He brings hope. That depiction in Matthew 12 is just awesome. It not only explicitly identifies the Servant of Isaiah 42 with the Christ it clarifies how Christ’s—this promise for the Christ to work justice—it is holistic. He comes in and he heals a man with this disability. But it wasn’t just a physical ailment. That disability had resulted in an entire life that had been filled with loss and oppression: all the games that he wasn’t able to play as a child, the jobs that he was not able to accomplish as a man, all the ridicule that he had experienced, the ostracization, even within the context, just the fact that you have all these religious leaders, who indeed don’t want him healed and Jesus displaying the heart of God, choosing Jesus for this purpose to be one in whom the broken can hope and find their entire lives transformed. It is such a gift and so truly hopeful for us.

TK: I think that’s a good use of like the healing stories are not intended just to be like a one thing that sits by itself to say, wait a minute that’s a sign he’s the one in Isaiah, and we’re supposed to go to Isaiah and read that and say, OK, this is my Lord. First it was explicitly made. But what was he saying to the people at that moment is—Matthew was saying that they should have been watching him do that. The leaders should have been saying, oh, this is the Servant he’s bringing forth justice to the nations. He’s doing it, but instead they rejected him right there.

JD: Yes, it’s. It is striking.

The Reach of the Servant: The Distant Islands

TK: Well, Jason, let’s move forward from this. This spot, verse four, can you take us the rest of it? So five through 9?

JD: Sure, after we see God declaring that the Servant will bring justice, Yahweh now confirms that this is his ministry. God actually declares, it says, “Thus says God, Yahweh.” And it elevates God right off the bat as the one “who created the heavens, who stretched them out, who gives breath to the people who were on it, who gives the spirit to those who walk in it.” I mean it clarifies right off the bat: if I’m the one choosing the Servant, and if I’m the one giving him the mission, I’m the Creator, so you can be confident—all authority that is needed for this mission to be accomplished is there. He has all power. There’s nothing that can stop this ministry of the Servant from being fulfilled. And then it unpacks and clarifies what the nature of that ministry will be. God says, “I am Yahweh; I have called you in righteousness” (Isa 42:6). So out of God’s passion for right order, he called and set apart the Servant on mission. He says, “I will take you”—and that’s masculine, singular, he’s now talking to the Servant—“I will take you by the hand and I will keep you.” So you have an echo of verse one where it says this is my Servant whom I uphold. God takes pleasure in this one. He will protect him until he fulfills his mission. So I will keep you.

And then it says, “I will give you as a covenant to the people, a light for the nations to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them” (Isa 42:6–9). So, we often think of Jesus being the instrument who brings about the New Covenant, and that is true. But the new covenant that you and I are a part of, that makes up the Christian Church today—that covenant is only possible because it’s not only that Jesus accomplished the covenant, he is the covenant. We have no participation in this relationship with God unless we are in Christ, who embodies the covenant. That’s what God says. I will make you as a covenant for the people. But it’s not only the people of Israel, his saving work is like a light piercing the darkness for the nations with a mission of opening blind eyes and setting prisoners free.

TK: Do you, Jason, do you think John the Baptist’s dad, for instance, do you think he had this passage in mind when he was speaking about the ministry his son would perform and thanking the Lord for what would happen based on John’s birth?

JD: Absolutely. And Luke 1:68–69 and then 79. Yeah, Zachariah, he simply says, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he’s visited us and redeemed his people and raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David.” He’s talking about the coming of Jesus. And then he gives the mission of that one who is coming: “To give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death to guide our feet into the way of peace.” I absolutely think Zechariah has Isaiah 42:6–7 on his mind, and he sees it being fulfilled in the one that his son, John the Baptist would preempt and foretell and declare, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). Jesus’s ministry is an eye-opening, prisoner-freeing ministry and within the Gospels he does it both physically and spiritually. So often he heals the blind eyes and then, right after that he—this happens in John’s gospel, he heals a man who is blind and then immediately after that he says, Do you see? And he’s talking about spiritual sight. When he talks to John the Baptist in Luke 11. John says, are you the one? And Jesus—he recalls for John’s followers, all kinds of ministry that he’s doing that’s directly growing out of—oh, is it Luke 11, or is it, no, it’s in Matthew 11 where he recalls for John’s followers all this ministry that directly grows out of what he is doing in Isaiah. I’m getting all mixed up where it’s found it’s not in Matthew 11.

TK: It’s I’m not looking there right now. I’ve my Bible still, Isaiah, but it’s all over. What you’re talking about and you’re thinking of the passage where John’s John is questioning, and Jesus says go tell him all the things that are happening.

JD: And then he specifically says to John, “Blessed are those who are not offended by me” (Matt 11:6). And I think his point is John is still in prison and John is wondering, are you the one? You’re supposed to set me free. And Jesus came, yes, setting captives free, and he came opening blind eyes. But he didn’t set every captive free and he didn’t open every blind eye. But one day he will, for all who are in him. And so blessed are those who, even in the midst of their suffering, hope in the one who has promised to do it completely. I think that was his point.

TK: Jason, can we—we’re going to need to wrap up right here. Can you give a thought about—so we have verse 5 where it says, “Thus says God the Lord,” and then he defines himself, the things he does. Then he’s going to talk about the Servant and then he ends talking about himself again. So verse eight, “I am the Lord, that is my name.” So kind of that, that package of the Lord talking about himself. Then saying this is what I’m doing with the Servant and then talking about himself again. As people who love God’s word, maybe preaching, teaching, raising children—what do we do with that? Like, where does our focus go? What is God wanting us to focus upon?

JD: What’s amazing to me is that in the ministry of the Servant, there is no glory that is being taken away from God. In the elevation of the Servant, God’s glory is being defined. Indeed, what we read is when we move from darkness to light, what happens is we receive “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ,” 2 Corinthians 4:6. That’s what I see happening here. God is declaring, as I work through the Servant, know this, I am working for my glory and I will not give glory to any other. I am the one who will be exalted, and he is going to be exalted through the work of Jesus by the Spirit as John testifies. What the Spirit is doing is to bring glory to the Son, so God the father from Genesis to Revelation, is operating through his Son by the Spirit. All of redemptive history, the story of salvation from the point of the fall to the time of ultimate consummation is being worked by the father. The father is working it through the person of Jesus, by the power of the Spirit, and we see all those elements in this passage. We see the Spirit, we see the Son, and we see the Father all operating to the ultimate end of bringing God the greatest glory. So I think this is how it’s always supposed to be. We need to end our parenting. We need to end our sermons. We need to be working for the glory of God in the face of Christ. And we do so by the power of the Spirit. Would you add anything else here in conclusion of today’s podcast?

TK: I would say that in reading this, hopefully myself, hopefully you, Jason, hopefully anyone listening—we’re not hearing it as a person like you would study something external to you, but I would be able to read this with thankfulness in my heart and realize I am that prisoner that he brought out and I have experienced his gentleness with me, repeatedly, and I will continue to experience that. And it gives me hope. This passage gives me hope for the days ahead because he is, we might grow weary, but the Servant is not growing faint. He, like you said, he’s not a candle about to go out. He’s not a weed that’s about to break in half and fall over. He’s going to finish his job.

JD: Yes, he is. And in the process, we will be helped. And the Helper will be glorified. We will be saved and the Savior will be magnified. God’s working for his glory is matched by his working for us, and we magnify him most when he satisfies us most, we magnify his greatness. Working for his glorious ends when we receive all that he is supplying to us through his Servant savior

TK: Amen. Receive it and love it like reading this and saying I love his work.

JD: Amen.

JY: Thank you for joining us for Gear Talk. If you haven’t done so already, go to our show notes and download the album cover and the lecture notes for our month in the Servant Songs series. Next week, Jason and Tom focus on the second Servant Song. Hope you can join us.