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Behold My Servant: The Meekness of Jesus

Behold My Servant: The Meekness of Jesus


This message was part 1 of a two part teaching series. In Isaiah 42 the Father gives us the primary prescription for a race of broken humans to inherit the promise of the resurrection and coming Kingdom.  Beholding the meekness of Jesus helps us understand the tenderness of God’s heart, and makes sense of our calling to bear witness to His heart by taking up our cross and laying down our lives for our enemies. If you would like to listen to part 2, go to Behold My Servant: The Risen Messiah.



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Behold My Servant: The Meekness of Jesus (Is. 42)



  1. Chapter 42 is a significant turning point in the book of Isaiah. This is the beginning of Isaiah’s reference to the Servant/Messiah.  Half of the book was spent explaining the wickedness and corruption which established the need for a Messiah.  The promise of a coming leader was introduced as the only possible remedy for the corruption and violence on the earth.
  2. Chapter 42 begins the introduction of the Messianic King in a different way.  The Messianic ruler is described as the Father’s Servant.  The One who the Father chose to be the remedy of the mess that creation was in is a Servant.

1Behold, 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 NASB)

  1. The Father delights in the Messiah because of His meekness.  He can be trusted to be the One who establishes justice in the nations of the earth because He is so humble.  This same revelation is shown to the apostle John in the book of Revelation.

9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. (Rev 5:9 NASB)

  1. The Father can trust Jesus to bring justice to the nations because He was humbled Himself unto death for the sake of fallen men.  His humility isn’t just an inner virtue that is unproven.  The One who had the highest honor and rank left this place so that He could take the lowest rank.  He is the Servant of all.

5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Phl 2:5-8 NASB)

  1. The Father, having observed the unfolding of wickedness which corrupted His perfect creation, has appointed a day in which He will make all things right again.  The way that He is going to do this is by establishing a humble King upon Mount Zion to rule over the whole earth.  The Father’s plan is to exalt this Servant, because if the Servant is exalted, then meekness will be established on the earth.

3 Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One, In Your splendor and Your majesty! 4 And in Your majesty ride on victoriously, For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; Let Your right hand teach You awesome things. (Psa 45:3-4 NASB)

Since the fall men have despised both the One that the Father has chosen and the means te means by which He will restore creation.  Though we don’t understand His ways or His timing, we can be sure that the meekness with which Jesus will both establish His Kingdom and run it is the most desirable outcome for the earth.



  1. The Father’s invitation to behold His Servant is part of a two-fold plan to redeem the earth.  First, He sent the Servant to demonstrate and prove His meekness by giving His life as a sacrifice for His enemies.  Beholding and believing in the Servant would lead to the qualification of His former enemies to inherit the Kingdom of the Servant.
  2. In Matthew 11, Jesus once again gives the invitation to look upon His humility.  The incarnation was the very first time that God’s Servant could be seen.

28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. (Mat 11:28-29 NASB)

  1. Jesus’ invitation is that we would come to Him and to learn about His humility.  He gives the same invitation that we would behold (i.e. to look intently for the purpose of learning) the humility of His heart.
  2. The most astonishing part of this passage is that it reveals the reason the He is a trustworthy source where humility can be both observed and acquired.  The Messiah is humble in heart – meaning that in His innermost part this is who He is.  He is meek and lowly in heart.

While the hearts of men are bent on self-exaltation, pride, oppression, exploitation, and violence – the only thing which flows from His heart is humility.  He is never caught in an un-humble moment.  In good circumstances and in bad, our Messiah is a Servant of all. 



  1. Jesus, the Servant of God, was born to a poor Jewish family under the rule of a wicked dictatorship.  The Roman empire was the closest thing that the earth had seen to a world ruler since the dispersion of the nations at the tower of Babel.  This was the rightful place promised to Him by His Father.
  2. When the Father introduces this attribute of the Messiah in Isaiah, He presents both Jesus’ humility as well as His zeal for justice to be established on the earth.  Jesus hates the oppression and wickedness that have taken over the earth since the fall of man.  His zeal for justice will fuel His heart with perseverance to completely overthrow the wicked rulers of the earth.

7 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of joy above Your fellows. (Psa 45:7 NASB)

  1. The meekness of His heart is proof that He can be trusted to accomplish this with absolute tenderness and compassion for the inhabitants of the earth. Even the establishing of His own Kingdom is done with others in mind.  He considers others as more important than Himself.

3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; … 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, (Phl 2:3, 5 NASB)

  1. Jesus is zealous for justice in the nations of the earth, but He is a Servant to these same wicked men that will be overthrown at His coming.  His humility is seen in His patience and restraint from bringing the day of vengeance.  The Father reveals that though He is zealous to purge the earth from wickedness, He is restraining from lifting His voice against them now.

1 “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. 2He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street. 3 “A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish … (Isa 42:1-3 NASB)

  1. Jesus is so meek towards His enemies that He has set an age of amnesty in which all who believe on Him for their righteousness and repent will be saved from the hour when He returns to establish His Kingdom.

14 “I (i.e. the Servant from verse 1) have kept silent for a long time, I have kept still and restrained Myself. Now like a woman in labor I will groan, I will both gasp and pant. 15 “I will lay waste the mountains and hills And wither all their vegetation; I will make the rivers into coastlands And dry up the ponds. (Isa 42:14-15 NASB)

  1. Unless we have the meek and lowly heart of Jesus in view, the time of amnesty is very offensive.  Because we are so unlike Him, we want to demand justice be established for ourselves and our loved ones now without waiting until the day in which justice is established in righteousness AND in humility.
  2. John the Baptist was tempted to be offended at this revelation of the Messiah while he was in prison because of his faithful witness to the Messiah’s coming.  John, knowing that he would likely be martyred soon unless he is delivered from prison, sent his disciples to confirm that Jesus was the Messiah.
  3. Jesus answers them with two familiar Messianic passages which confirm that He is the Messiah.  After quoting them Jesus addresses John’s offense.

5 the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM. 6 “And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.” (Mat 11:5-6 NASB)

  1. Jesus is quoting Isaiah 35 and Isaiah 61.  Isaiah 35 is a reference to the Messianic role of restoring everything that has been corrupted in the fall.  The Messiah is going to heal every blind eye, every deaf ear, cause every mute to speak, and every lame person is going to leap for joy.  In addition, to the human body being restored to it’s original glory, the Messiah will also restore creation from it’s state of corruption.

5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. 6 Then the lame will leap like a deer, And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness And streams in the Arabah. 7 The scorched land will become a pool And the thirsty ground springs of water; In the haunt of jackals, its resting place, Grass becomes reeds and rushes. (Isa 35:5-7 NASB)

21creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (Rom 8:21 NASB)

  1. He also quotes Isaiah 61.  He is the One upon whom the Spirit of Lord would rest.  The Father had anointed Him to bring good news to the poor, to bring liberty to captives, and the bring freedom to prisoners.  The fact that Jesus is quoting this to a man who is in prison is very personal to John.  He finishes by letting John know that, although He is the One who has been anointed to bring justice to the earth, He is not righting the wrongs and crushing the wicked rulers yet.  Thus, John would not be delivered by the Messianic takeover.

6 “And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.” (Mat 11:6 NASB)

  1. The hope that He will restore all things is essential to our faith in Him.  However, His humble heart is still waiting to crush the wicked, establish His Kingdom, and restore creation.  He told John that one who can get over this offense will be blessed.  This word means ‘happy’.  There is great joy when we receive the revelation of Jesus as the Servant who is patient and meek.



  1. The incarnation, ministry, response to mistreatment, the cross of the Messiah are not just the attributes of His heart.  They are the attributes of the Father’s heart as well.  Jesus did not come to reveal His own heart, but the heart of God the Father.

9 … He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (Jhn 14:9 NASB)

3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature… (Hbr 1:3 NASB)

  1. Jesus tells Philip that he can be fully confident of what the Father is like.  He is just like His Son.  This is the reason why the Father delights in the Servant so much.  He is just like Him.  All of the humility that we see on the cross and in the incarnation is the nature of the Father. 

44 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Mat 5:44-45 NASB)

  1. Before Jesus ever had any public ministry, after being baptized by John, the heavens opened and the Father declared how much He loves this Servant.  It is because He is just like Him!

17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”  (Mat 3:17 NASB)

  1. The cross isn’t something that had to be done because it had to fulfill Old Testament prophecies about a sacrifice.  God wrote the Old Testament with all of these prophecies because He loves the cross.  He delighted in the crushing of the Servant because it showed everyone the humility of their heart.

10 But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief… (Isa 53:10 NASB)

  1. Jesus is the Faithful and True witness of the Father.  No one knew exactly what the Father was like until Jesus put Him on display.  We can look at Jesus and know for sure what the Father is like.  The Father is humble, meek, lowly, patient, and long-suffering.

5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness… (Rev 1:5 NASB)

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: (Rev 3:14 NASB)



  1. At the end of this age, the marriage supper of the Lamb will take place.  Redeemed humanity will be like a bride adorned for her Husband, the Lamb.  The saints will be joined to Him forever.

7 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” (Rev 19:7 NASB)

  1. The book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ uses the word ‘Lamb’ to speak of Jesus thirty two times.  The Lamb is clearly a reference to the cross – and thus, to His humility.  It is intentional because the revelation of the humility of the Lamb of God will be revealed to the generation in which He returns like no other generation.
  2. Just like when marriage was made in the garden to point ultimately to this marriage, it will be between two who are equally yoked.  The Bride of the Lamb is going to be like Him.  She will be made ready for her wedding with the Servant Lamb of God in the same way He was prepared to be the ruler of the nations.
  3. The saints at the end of this age will bear witness to the Servant in the same way that He bore witness to His Father.  Just as Jesus laid His life down for His friends and did not love His life even unto death, so there will be a people made ready for this wedding in the same way.

12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. (Jhn 15:12-13 NASB)

10while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, … (Rom 5:10 NASB)

  1. The saints will be given over to a time of testing to purify and refine them, but they will overcome and love not their lives unto death, bearing witness to their Messiah.  This is the picture of the bride being made ready to be yoked with and to rule the nations with the Servant King, Jesus.  

11 “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. (Rev 12:11 NASB)

  1. Just prior to His arrest and crucifixion, Jesus prayed for all those who believe in His word.  He ended His prayer by saying that as He revealed the Servant heart of the Father through His own meekness in the cross that it would cause God to delight in us the way that He delights in the Lamb.

26 and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (Jhn 17:26 NASB)

  1. Jesus’ prayer has to do with mature love being formed in the saints for Him, but also that the Father would be able to look upon the end time church and smell the fragrance of the Lamb upon them. 
  2. This is why the Father tells us to behold the Servant.  As we let the Servant be revealed to us by the Spirit, it unlocks our hearts with the revelation of the humility of our Father.  We must continually be renewing ourselves in the revelation of the humility of the Lamb of God.  It will empower us to be faithful witnesses of His heart like He has been to the Father’s heart. 

26 “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, 27 and you will testify also… (Jhn 15:26-27 NASB)

Bill Scofield (52 Posts)

Bill is husband to Charis, and father to their 6 children. He is a Bible teacher, elder, and missions trainer.

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