“Listen to me, O coastlands, and give attention, you peoples from afar. The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother He named my name. He made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He hid me; He made me a polished arrow; in His quiver He Hid me away. And He said to me, ‘You are My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’ But I said, ‘I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my right is with the LORD, and my recompense with my God.’ And now the LORD says, He who formed me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him; and that Israel might be gathered to Him—for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD, and my God has become my strength—He says: ‘It is too light a thing that you should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.’ Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and His Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation, the servant of rulers: ‘Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.'”(Isaiah 49:1-7 ESV)
This passage from Isaiah is an amazingly human picture of Jesus. So often we focus on Jesus as God—His power, His holiness and goodness, the way He provides for us. But here we have Jesus in His own words telling us what it was like to live His life as a Man, a Servant of God.
And what does He show us? He faces the same sort of conflict we face. God the Father has called Jesus to do a particular job, to bring the people of the world back to Him—and Jesus knows this. He mentions how God named Him when He was conceived in Mary’s womb, how God prepared Him like a weapon to be used against the powers of evil.
And yet. Jesus knows the same feelings we have of stress and fear and depression. All His hard work, all the healing and teaching and travelling and arguing—has any of it done any good? Like any man, He puts His trust in God, and leans on Him for strength. The incarnate Son of God is not ashamed to behave like any believer; He is our model in this, too.
And the Father says to Him: “It’s not enough for You to be the Savior of Israel only: I will give You as a light for the nations, that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth!” And Jesus counts it an honor that the Father has trusted Him to save all—through His own suffering, death, and resurrection.
I am grateful for this look at Jesus’ heart—to come close to His feelings and struggles as a Man as well as His power and glory as God. This human, divine Jesus is our Savior.
Thanks be to God!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for sending us Your Son. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on January 10, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
1. Did anything surprise you in this passage from Isaiah? What and why?
2. Did you ever think it must have been easy for Jesus to do what He did, because He was God?
3. If so, do you still think so?