Jesus is the Suffering Servant King

In the New Testament we find that Jesus who is without any doubt the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah chapter 53. We see that Jesus Himself believed this too. It’s not just coincidence that He quotes from the prophet Isaiah more than any other prophet in the New Testament. In fact, the prophecies of Isaiah are not just limited to the suffering of Jesus, but refer to His entire ministry. But it’s the death of Christ that is the entire focus of the New Testament writers as they point to the prophecies of Isaiah’s “suffering servant.”

 

 

Let's read Isaiah 53, “Who hath believed Our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? For He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of My people was He stricken. And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth.Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; he hath put Him to grief: when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

As we read these passages we can’t help but see what the prophet has written. He wrote as if he were an eyewitness to the passion of Jesus Christ. This Christ, the coming Messiah, Jesus is not just a king, no when we look at Him what do we see? We see that He comes to us as a servant. A servant to whom God is “pleased to place His righteous wrath upon. One who came and stands in our place. One who receives the chastisement that was due to us for our iniquity; He takes on Himself the iniquity of all of His chosen people. Look and see Jesus; God’s Suffering Servant, “wounded for our transgressions.” Yes, and “smitten of God, and afflicted.” It’s not a pretty sight! No because when we look at Him we see that “His visage’ (His features, countenance, face) ‘was so marred’ (damaged, defaced, blemished, mutilated, maimed, scarred) ‘more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men” (verse 14). So disfigured was His “visage,” so “marred” were His features, not by the hand of those who abused Him, but by the sin and iniquities that He carried on Himself on our behalf. And God, who cannot look upon sin, turned away from Him, and the “Suffering Servant” cried out, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?”

 

In the Revelations 5:2-6, the Apostle John sees a vision, and he hears an angel cry out saying, “who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?” and we are told that “no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.”

 

And John said that he “wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.” Then we read that “one of the elders” came to him and comforted him saying, “weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.”

 

And immediately we see a change in the mood, from one of sorrow and foreboding to one of joy and expectation, as John turns to see the spectacle. When he turns he sees that “midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.” And having taken the book He alone is able to break the seals and open the book, and to gaze at it’s contents!

 

But this is no “suffering servant,” what he hears is a conquering King! Why this is the “Lion of the tribe of Judah!” The “Suffering Servant” and the “Royal King” are in fact one and the same person! But when he turns what does he see? He Sees not a Lion, but a “Lamb slain!” And He is “standing in the midst “of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders.” And He comes and takes “the book of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne.” And immediately “the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.” And everyone there sang a “new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation,” having made us to be “kings and priests” unto our God, that we should “reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:7-10). Here is the Lion, the King of kings, and He is the Lamb of God, who through the strength of His righteousness is the “Suffering Servant” who is the reigning King of kings, and Lord of Lords!


Elder Thomas McDonald

 


 


Jesus as Lord

The title “Lord” is the second most frequent designation for Jesus in the New Testament. And it’s title that we need to understand. Why? Because the title, “Lord” surely is the most exalted title that is conferred upon Jesus. Because it is the title “Lord” that is probably the most difficult for God’s people to grasp. And this particular title that we as American’s today, in the United States have trouble with, because none of us have ever had a flesh and blood king who sits and rules over us. This very idea of having one “Lord” to set and govern us is something that we have never experienced. I mean the whole concept of “Lordship” being invested in only one individual is foreign to us in our American culture. But beloved this is the bold claim that New Testament asserts for our Saviour Jesus Christ. That He alone is the Sovereign authority and imperial power over the entire universe.

In our New Testament we use the Greek word kuris, which is translated as our English word “Lord.” This Greek word was used in several ways, but its most common usage was as a polite way to say sir. Like in our English word sir, it can be used in an ordinary way, that’s the way it was with the Greek word kurios. There is a common everyday use of the word, and there is a less common, or special use. In England, men were knighted and they were given the title sir, showing that they were now elevated from the common use of the word to its special formal use. So it is with the Greek word kurios, in its special formal use in the title if “Lord” was given to men who were in the higher aristocrat class. The title was used in a figurative way to indicate the Jesus in the New Testament was Kurios or Lord.

Jesus was called “Master” by His disciples, the Apostle Paul would often open his epistles saying, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ.” The Greek word, which Paul uses here to describe himself as a servant, is the Greek word doulos. Now there can’t be a servant, or doulos without there being a “Lord,” kurios. Paul said, “ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:19-20. We can plainly see that God’s people are the possession of Jesus Christ; He is our Master, and our “Lord.” Jesus owns us, but He is not a “tyrant lord,” as is often the case with worldly lords. No, unlike the nature of the world, our “Lord” sets us free in our natural earthly servitude, which is the bondage of our sinful nature, setting us free to serve and glorify Him. It’s only in Christ that we are free. For he says, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). Its only by and through our relationship in Christ Jesus our Lord as His servants we are truly liberated from the bondage of the world!

 

And the third important meaning of the title “Lord” is its Imperial use. It is given to kings that have absolute sovereign ruler over a people. We see it used that way in a political way today. When we look at the Greek Old Testament title of “Lord” we find the word kurios, which was translated from the Hebrew word adonai, which is a title for the Lord God Himself. This word Adonai is used in the place of the Hebrew word “Yahweh” which is the sacred name for God, of which the Hebrews believed, was too sacred for sinful man to even speak, so they used Adonai in the place of the unspoken word “Yahweh” to call attention to God’s absolute power and authority over the entire universe. When we find the adonai in a passage it is always printed as “Lord.” Just Like in Psalms 8:1, “O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who hast set thy glory above the heavens.” In Hebrew it would read, “O Yahweh, our adonai, how excellent!” The Hebrews would use the word Yahweh for the name of God and adonai is used as His title.

Look at Psalms 110:1, which is quoted more than any other Old Testament passage, “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Here we find Yahweh speaking to adonai, who is seen as being David’s Lord and He is seated at God’s own right hand. So in the New Testament (Matt. 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:43; Heb. 1:13) where this title is given to our Lord Jesus Christ, who is seen as being “above every name.”

Thus, we have Jesus being seated at the right hand of God, elevated to the seat of cosmic authority, having all other authority in both heaven and earth given into His hands! Now He rightly receives the exalted title of Adonai, which formerly only belonged to God the Father. When we refer to Jesus, as being “Lord of lords” there is absolutely no doubt about what is meant! We are saying along with sacred scripture, that all other authority is set under His authority.

 

The title of “Lord” is used so often in the New Testament Church that the English word for church is taken from it. The Greek word ekklesia comes from the word ecclesiastical, which in the Greek Septuagint is used to designate the gathering of Israel, summoned for the purpose of worshiping God. Thus we see that the word ekklesia used in the New Testament translated as “church” describes the whole body of Christ (Matt. 18:17; Eph. 1:22; 5:23). Jesus says in Matt. 16:18, “upon this rock I will build my church’ (ekklesia); ‘and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” So we find that the word church is the “people who belong to Adonai, or the Lord.”

Also look at the passage in 1 Corinthians 12:3, “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord’ [Adonai], ‘but by the Holy Ghost.” No man can even declare in his heart that Jesus Christ is Lord, except the Holy Ghost reveal it to him from heaven.

In the early church, God’s people were considered to be criminals by the Roman government because they refused to honor the emperor with the exalted title Kaiser kurios which means “Caesar is Lord,” even at the cost of their own lives. When they were called to do so, they would instead say, “Iesous ho Kurios” or “Jesus is Lord.” They believed in being good citizens, they would render “unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's” (Matt. 22:21). They refused to give to Caesar the title Lord which only belonged to Jesus Christ, and they were willing to give up their very lives to maintain that assertion.


Elder Thomas McDonald

 




Jesus as The Son of Man

In the New Testament we find two titles that refer to the two natures of Jesus Christ, first He is referred to as the Son of God, and second He is referred to as the Son of Man. In order to understand who Jesus really is we must be able to see that He is the Son of Man, truly man and the Son of God, truly God. When we view Jesus we see both of these natures housed within the one Man Christ Jesus. We’ll start by taking a look at the first title, which is the Son of Man.
To begin with as we study this title we find that it is the third most common title that refers to Jesus. And in fact it occurs no less than eighty-four times in the New Testament, and eighty-one of them are found within the four Gospels. And it is the most popular title in which Jesus refers to Himself.


But why did Jesus use the title Son of Man? We find the title first used in the Old Testament. It appears in reference to both in the book of Daniel and the book of Ezekiel. In Daniel 7:13-14, we see the Son of Man appearing to Daniel in a vision of heaven. He is seen as setting on a throne of the “Ancient of days,” and He is given “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” When we read these passages it is not hard to see the Son of Man as a heavenly king who will come down to earth and establish His Kingdom Church. It is this very Son of Man that is Jesus! He said, “Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world” (John 8:23). And in another place He says, “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven” (John 3:13).

All of the writers of the New Testament soundly declare that Jesus is a heavenly being. But He was not just a mere angel. He is declared to be much, much more! When Daniel saw him He said that He was “Ancient of days,” and lets take a look at a comparison between what Daniel saw and that which is given by the Apostle John in his visions in the Book of the Revelations.


First, Daniel says that he “beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened” (Dan. 7: 9-10).


Now listen to John, “and I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength” (Rev. 1:12-16).
And again in Rev. 5:11-12, he says “and I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.”

His divinity is seen not only in the Old Testament, but we see that Jesus Himself sees it as fact with all of creation, we see Jesus again in, when He came and went through a corn field on the Sabbath day, and as His disciples went through they began to pick ears of corn from the stalk. And there were some Pharisees who came to Him and said, “will you look at that, don’t You’re disciples know that it is against the law to pick corn on the Sabbath day?”
And Jesus said, “have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungered, he, and they that were with him? How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the showbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him? And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:25-28).


We see that Jesus claims to have the authority that, to the Jew, that belonged only to God! They couldn’t have missed what He was saying here. And so how did they respond to His message? They went out and sought how that they might kill Him because of His claims to deity came out loud and clear.


We see in another place where Jesus declares that the “Son of Man” comes as a judge who “shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats” (Matt. 25:331:32). This judging is clearly a judging that only belongs to God Himself. The “Son of Man” who comes from heaven, is not someone who is deity alone, but He is someone who has come into our humanity through His incarnation. He is the God Man, that is God in the flesh!


The Apostle Paul saw Jesus as the Son of Man, for he writes, “and so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45).


Beloved Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of what Isaiah prophesied saying, “behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us”(Matt. 1:23; see Isa. 7:14). The word Emmanuel means God is with us in flesh and blood.


We find in the book of Daniel, the Son of Man who appears in a vision, He sets on the throne of the “Ancient of days.” Lets read it, “I’ [Daniel] ‘beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire...I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him... Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom” (Dan. 7:9, 13, 22). Here is the Son of Man seen as a heavenly being, who is a transcendent figure who will descend to the earth to exercise the role of Supreme Judge.


The New Testament is our witness to the fact of the preexistence of Jesus as the Son of Man that is come down from heaven. Jesus said, “no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven” (John 3:13).

Let's compare the descriptions of Daniel’s view of the Son of Man to that of what the Apostle John saw in the isle of Patmos, in the book of Revelation:


In Revelation 1:12-16, “and I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.”


And in Revelation 5:11-12, “and I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.”