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Behold My Servant: The Risen Messiah

Behold My Servant: The Risen Messiah


This message was part 2 of a two part teaching series that sets out to place the resurrection of Jesus within it’s original context and significance to the first believers.  The faith and hope of the early church rested wholly on the fact that the Messiah had been resurrected in glory and was returning to do the same thing to the righteous. If you would like to listen to part 1, go to Behold My Servant: The Meekness Of Jesus.



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Behold My Servant: The Risen Messiah (Mt. 17)



  1. In Matthew 16 Jesus, speaking with His closest disciples, began to reveal a greater part of the mystery of His own life.  Which much of the gospel was known and expected in Jesus day, there was a significant part of the mission of God that was not revealed to them yet.  Jesus explains to His disciples that he is going to suffer, be rejected as Israel’s Messiah, and then be killed by the leaders of Israel.

21 From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. (Mat 16:21 NASB)

  1. Although the promise of His resurrection was meant to comfort them, the new information was more than they could deal with.  Peter, most likely speaking for the rest of them, responded to the change of plans in a manner common to men in his situation – anger.

22 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ” God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” (Mat 16:22-23 NASB)

  1. Jesus rebuked Satan, not to be dramatic, but because He was familiar with this doctrine already.  During His time in the wilderness Satan tempted Jesus with the same thing.  The doctrine and common temptation of Satan is to take the glory and reward without the cross.

8 Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9 and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'” (Mat 4:8-10 NASB)

  1. In Mark’s account (cf. Mark 8:33) Jesus actually looks at the disciples as He rebukes Peter because this was not only growing in his heart, but in all of their hearts.  This temptation is common to man, but the mission of God to put his meek and humble heart on display through the cross (both through Jesus’ cross and ours!) is militated against by this Satanic doctrine which tells us to skip the cross and claim our inheritance before the Day of the Lord.
  2. Next, Jesus gives what might initially sound like a strange alter call.  He invites those who want to come after Him to listen to the rest of His message.  To understand the next section of this passage we need to go back to a very important promise given in the prophets about the coming resurrection of the righteous.

1 “Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. 2He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him. 3 “So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.” (Hsa 6:1-3 NASB)

  1. Jesus had just quoted this verse and invoked the entire passage into their minds as He said that He would be raised on the third day.  Now, we understand why the passage was a bit confusing to the disciples.  No one expected one Man to be raised before the rest of them!

9 As they were coming down from the mountain, He gave them orders not to relate to anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man rose from the dead. 10 They seized upon that statement, discussing with one another what rising from the dead meant. (Mar 9:9-10 NASB)

  1. This was the introduction of the revelation of the mystery of the Gospel of the Messiah.  Jesus wanted to explain to them that there would be a gap of time after His own cross and resurrection and our own resurrection.  This was later understood in context to the Jewish feast of firstfruits.

20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep (i.e. in the dust). 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, (1Cr 15:20-23 NASB)

  1. Jesus next presents the cost of having a resurrection with Him.  During this gap of time those who will inherit the resurrection at His coming again in glory will live the way that He did.  So, the things which He just informed them would precede His resurrection will also precede ours.

21 From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed (take up His cross), and be raised up on the third day. … 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me (and be raised up like I will be raised up), he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me (lit. ‘to have union or to join on the path’). (Mat 16:21, 24 NASB)

  1. Next Jesus explains that He will return after a time in glory, and at that time He will reward the saints for the their deeds.  In other words, on the Day of the Lord He is going to come back and give them a reward based on how well they walked this out.

27 “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN (NOT ‘now’) REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS. (Mat 16:27 NASB) 



  1. Next, Jesus makes a very interesting statement.  He said that there were some of them there who would actually get to see what He is going to look like on the day when He comes in glory.  He called it seeing the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.

28 “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” (Mat 16:28 NASB)

  1. It is important to note that what follows in all three synoptic gospels is the ‘Mount of Transfiguration’ passage (cf. Mark 8-9, Luke 9:23-36).  In other words, the writers of the gospel accounts – though not primarily concerned with the chronology of the stories – all agreed that these two stories were inseparable.
  2. The “mount of transfiguration” is a somewhat overlooked passage from most pulpits and commentaries.  Often, even in depth commentaries of the Gospels will only have a few sentences to write about this passage.  This is really tragic since Peter said that his presence on the mountain was the anchor of his own apostolic witness of the Messiah.

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”– 18 and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 So we have the prophetic word (i.e. the promises from the prophets) made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. (2Pe 1:16-19 NASB)

  1. Next, just under a week after this statement, He took Peter, James, and John onto a mountain and suddenly He was ‘transfigured’ – which just means He changed.  His face became as bright as the sun, and His garments became white.    

1 Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. (Mat 17:1-2 NASB)

  1. As always, when reading the Scripture (especially the NT) we need to ask what those men were thinking when they were there.  Did this experience connect with anything that they knew from the Scriptures already? 
  2. Having just told them that He would first suffer and then be raised Himself, He is showing them the first glimpse of what the prophets foretold.  The resurrection of the righteous and the establishment of His kingdom on the earth – thus establishing a restored dwelling of God on the earth with man – was the central hope of all of the Old Testament Scriptures.

19 Your dead will live; Their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy, For your dew is as the dew of the dawn, And the earth will give birth to the departed spirits. (Isa 26:19 NASB)

1 “Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. 2He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him. 3 “So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.” (Hsa 6:1-3 NASB)

  1. However, the Scripture also talks a great deal of the radiant glory of God that will be restored to the human body in the resurrection.

2 “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt (i.e. the lake of fire). 3 ” Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. (Dan 12:2-3 NASB)

1Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. (Isa 60:1 NASB)

14 For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.” (Eph 5:14 NASB)

  1. So, when the three disciples are looking at Jesus in this way, they understand that they are looking at what the glory of the Kingdom is going to be like.  If this isn’t enough, He also let’s them see some of the saints who will be there.  Righteous men like Moses and Elijah will be a part of the Kingdom and the resurrection.

3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. (Mat 17:3 NASB)

  1. Peter, missing the point, makes a suggestion that they should build places of worship to commemorate this experience.  The Father quickly corrects the misunderstanding of why they are on the mountain.  They are on the mountain to be thoroughly convinced that He is the Messiah and that His words are completely trustworthy.

4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son (cf. Ps. 2:7), with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. (Mat 17:4-6 NASB)

  1. the great motivator – the glory of the risen messiah
  2. As Peter mentioned in his 2nd Epistle, his boldness the share the Gospel was due to the fact that He saw the glory of the Messiah at His coming in the clouds.  As a result the hope of the early church was proclaimed as the empty tomb because they hoped to have their bodies transformed to be like His glorious body in the resurrection.
  3. Paul explains his motivation for counting all things loss at the end of chapter 3.  To not only be a part of the resurrection, but to have a resurrected body like the Messiah’s.

20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. (Phl 3:20-21 NASB)

49 Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly. (1Cr 15:49 NASB)

23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. … 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; (Rom 8:23, 29 NASB)

  1. The early church hand accounts of the Messiah, His death, and His resurrection as an encouragement to persevere in righteousness and humility.
  2. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus… 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. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, (Phl 2:5-9 NASB)

3 For He (Jesus) has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses (in the resurrection), by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. (Hbr 3:3 NASB)

2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy (i.e. the resurrection) set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; (Hbr 12:2-4 NASB)



  1. Just as the prophesied, the Holy Spirit is the One raises the dead.  He raised Jesus from the grave and He will raise all of the righteous from their graves at the sound of Jesus’ voice at the 2nd coming.

3 He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, You know.” … 5 “Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. 6 ‘I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the LORD.'” … 12 “Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 “Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. 14 “I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it,” declares the LORD.'” (Eze 37:3, 5-6, 12-14 NASB)

13 …you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, (Eph 1:13-14, 19-20 NASB)

  1. So, now the Holy Spirit who will one day raise up the righteous is the One who is given in a down payment measure to keep us and present us blameless on the day in which He will raise up our bodies. 

22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. (2Cr 1:22 NASB)

5 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. (2Cr 5:5 NASB)

14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. (Eph 1:14 NASB)



  1. In accordance with the words of Jesus, the Holy Spirit now keeps us walking on a narrow path, instructing us to walk worthy of the calling of the Kingdom and the resurrection.  Like Jesus taught the disciples in Matthew 16, if we are going to be raised up after Him at His coming, then we will have to take up our cross and join Him on this path until the resurrection and Kingdom.

11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, (Tts 2:11-13 NKJV)

  1. Also central to the apostolic testimony was that the role of the saints in the age to come (after their acceptance of His sacrifice required for inclusion) was determined by their acceptance of their own cross in this age.

16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. (Rom 8:16-17 NASB)

10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Phl 3:10-11 NASB)

11 It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; 12 If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; 13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. (2Ti 2:11-13 NASB)

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. (1Pe 4:12-13 NASB)

  1. The revelation of the Messiah in His resurrected glory is always a strategic motivator by the Holy Spirit to equip people to walk through the coming calamity with clarity and endurance.  The apostles before the day of Pentecost were prepared for the coming troubles with ‘many convincing proofs’ as Jesus showed them that He really was the firstborn of the resurrection. 

3 To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. (Act 1:3 NASB)

  1. Likewise, Saul of Tarsus was not only converted, but equipped to endure persecution when Jesus visited Him in His resurrected glory one day. 

3 As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, … 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; 16 for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.” (Act 9:3-5, 15-16 NASB)

  1. When Jesus gives the final book of the Bible to John the endurance of the righteous in the final generation is always anchored to the reward of the resurrection – personified in Jesus Himself. 

12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; 13 and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. 14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. 15 His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. (Rev 1:12-15 NASB)

7 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.’ (Rev 2:7 NASB)

8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this 10 ‘…Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 ‘…He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death (the lake of fire).’ (Rev 2:8-11 NASB)

26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 27 and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. (Rev 2:26-27 ESV)

5 ‘He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life12 ‘He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore14 “… The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: … 21 ‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. (Rev 3:5, 12, 14, 21 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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