Vol.XIII No.IX Pg.6
November 1976

The Elect Servant

Robert F. Turner

Israel was called servant (Isa. 41:8-9; 45:4); but in Messianic prophecies the word took on special meaning. Isa. 42:1-7 reads, Behold my servant, whom I behold; my chosen, in whom my soul delighteth: I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.... to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house. In Matt. 12:15-21 this is directly applied to Jesus Christ.

The Servant of Isa. 49:5-7 is clearly the chosen Christ; and this thought is carried on in Isa. 52:13 and in the well known Messianic words of Isa. 53; (v. 11). Israel was the servant of God who rejected Him; but Christ was the rejected Servant whom God glorified. Peter seems to make this very contrast in Acts 3:13. (See American Standard. The word here is paida as used in Isaiahs prophecies; not huios, usually used for Son of God.) Peter is saying these Jews denied the chosen Servant whom God sent as their Savior.

As in all other roles assigned to the Son of God, this chosen Servant occupies the highest position, example for all servants, glorifying service. When Peter exhorts servants to be subject to their masters for conscience toward God, he reminds them that Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps (1 Pet. 2:18 -25). The very name takes on a new and exalted significance when applied to the Shepherd and Bishop of souls. As king, He is King of Kings; and as servant, He is Servant of Servants. Again, in the prophecies elect or chosen are related to Servant; and Peter says Christ was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.. . (1 Pet. 1:20). Paul calls this the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Eph. 3:11). Did God elect or foreordain any individual? Yes, indeed! Deity elected the Son of God, clothed in flesh, to be the Chosen Servant who would bring light and salvation to both Jews and Gentiles. He is the elect ONE, and those who come to Him in faith are elect in Jesus Christ.

When Paul writes of the remnant according to the election of grace (Rom. 11:5), he explains himself by showing that Jewish people who put their trust in Christ — and Gentiles who put their trust in Christ —- are alike saved. The salvation tree (so to speak) is not national, nor is it a fixed number of individuals. (If God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee (v.21). Jews who lack faith are cast out; Gentiles who believe are grafted in; unbelievers who become believers can be grafted in again; believers who become unbelievers will be cast out (Rom. 11:17-24).

Grace provides the means of redemption, by electing the ONE who would die for all mankind. This Servant, Jesus Christ, is available for all who will trust in Him. But John Does place, and Mary Smiths place among the elect ones, is dependent upon the faith of John Doe and Mary Smith. Christ is the perfect Servant. Are you a faithful servant of His?