The Lord’s Servant and Light for the World

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Isaiah 42:1-10, 49:1-6, 50:4-9

Isaiah, Exile, and a New Vision for Israel and the World

We’re focusing on Isa 40-55, but in scripture it is part of a large book spanning centuries. Israel as independent kingdom protected by God. Jeremiah, that’s past, God’s judgment by Babylon. Now a people in exile, looking forward to Cyrus of Persia, God’s chosen agent for this moment.

Who are we? What is happening, coming? Son of David bearing God’s Spirit (Is 11:1-2, 61:1-2). Son of Man = saints of the Most High receive kingdom but suffer defeat (Dan 7:13-14, 18-22)

Servant of Yahweh in Isa becomes a central focus for revelation, reflection, anticipation of the new. The Servant is Israel as a whole (Is 41), object of God’s pleasure, receives God’s Spirit. How? No longer a warring nation but healing, caring servant, uncrushed, bringing justice to nations. How?

Vision of God: Creator of earth and all people. Servant is God’s agent for covenant, new creation: Light to the nations. Healing blindness, prisoners in darkness. This is God’s glory, true God, not idols. New Event brings a New Song from ends of the earth. All peoples are called to the One God.

The Servant Sings to the World: Is 49:1-6; 50:4-9

People on the Move with God – Feast of Booths

Leviticus 23:33-44

Autumn in New York

New York has 2 new years: Jan 1 and Sept. Israel also had 2 new years: Passover and Trumpets.

God gave to Israel a cycle of Festivals and other annual days: To remember the story of God’s deliverance, how God made them a people, preserved them. To have times of communal celebration and grief. To harmonize religious life with cycles of nature through the year. Three pilgrimage feasts. Often neglected till after Exile. Great power for renewal (Ps 42).

Passover and Pentecost were permanently linked to Jesus’ crucifixion/resurrection and to the coming of the Holy Spirit: Exodus the great event of deliverance and Giving the Torah.

The Fall with New Year, Day of Atonement, and Sukkoth carried the joining of penitence and celebration (Isa 55). Entering Holy of Holies (Heb 9:24-25), Booths and water in the desert.

Jesus at Sukkoth – the Feast of Booths

Jesus travels from Galilee to Jerusalem for Sukkoth (Jn 7). People are expecting the prophet. Who is he? Messiah? His brothers don’t believe. People know about him but don’t know him. Jesus links to the Sukkoth ritual of bringing water from Siloam to the Temple.

Jesus gives Living Water (Jn 4:10)–a future unfolds of God’s Spirit/Life in us. Water in the desert!