Isaiah 41:8-101NIV New International Version Translations
8 “But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, 9 I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. 10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
In Chapters 40 to 66, God promises comfort to his people. In fact, the word ‘comfort’ appears 13 times in these chapters. Babylon is the enemy and God’s people are prisoners in Babylon referring to the situation two centuries after Isaiah’s time. But unlike in chapters 1 to 39, Isaiah does not mention any actual events from the history of that period. So it is possible that parts of Isaiah were contributed by additional authors.
We are called to be happy servants of the Lord. God called us to be His friends, and to walk with Him in faith and holy obedience. Let us, His people who have been granted this special favor, not yield to fear. While the struggle of life may be difficult, we are assured with God’s tenderness that victory is ours because our God will protect and strengthen us. Yes, there are those that seek our ruin but we are God’s people and expected to be different, not rendering evil for evil, but waiting for God’s time.
Items for Discussion
- What is a servant?
- What makes a good servant?
- Why should we, children of God, view ourselves as servants?
- In a world where freedom is pursued at great expense and effort, why should we bother to be “good servants,” remaining patient, trusting in our God?
- Is motherhood our society’s best example of a perfect servant? Why or why not?
27 As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” 28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
People of every age seek true happiness. We all want to be happy. Why not! Some people pursue fame, fortune or power in their quest for happiness. But Jesus, like so many times before, simplifies life. What is happiness? Simply taking time to hear God’s Word and following it.
The woman in the crowd thought that it would be wonderful to be the mother of Jesus. She would be happy if her son was as great as Him. The woman assumes that Jesus’ mother must be happy because God had blessed her with such a son. While that was true, Jesus speaks of something even more important. The natural relationship of a mother and son is not as important as the blessing people will receive who hear the word of God and obey it.
Items for Discussion
- How can we take time in our busy lives to hear God’s Word?
- Is there a difference between hearing God’s Word and reading it?
- Do we learn different things from each method?
- Would a servant be more apt to take time to listen to God’s Word than a King? Why or why not?
- So why do you think hearing God’s Word brings happiness?
- What are the top three strengths you can see in Jesus’ mother, Mary?
- How do you think Mary displays the “servanthood” that Jesus is calling us to?
- How does the Christian Church teach people to be good servants in a world filled with evil?
- 1NIV New International Version Translations