It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Servant of the Lord, a Reflection on Isaiah 42:1-7

In the Gospel of Matthew, when Jesus had been baptized, the Spirit of God descends and a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased" (3:13-17). The first hearers of the Gospel would have been familiar with the Old Testament (Christians' name for what they would have thought of as Scriptures) and so would have understood Matthew's message by reading into it what the prophets had earlier said.

For example, Isaiah spoke of the servant of the Lord, the one chosen by the Lord, the one in whom the Lord delights, the one who has God's spirit upon him. Because of the similarities, Matthew's readers (then and still now) can interpret the calling of that servant to be evocative of the calling of Christ--and of the people who follow Christ.

The Lord's servant, according to Isaiah will bring forth justice to the nations. Notice: not just to people like him, but to the nations. He won't be loud or violent but he will be effective and persistent.

The Lord says to him, "I have called you in righteousness.....a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring the prisoners from the dungeon."

Here is our task as the church, the body of Christ, to continue to bring justice to the nations (not just assume that God cares about us alone) and to continue the work of healing and deliverance.

No comments: