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The Servant Song of Isaiah 53 Who is the Suffering Servant? The Battle between Jewish and Christian scholars for the Heart of their faith.

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Presentation on theme: "The Servant Song of Isaiah 53 Who is the Suffering Servant? The Battle between Jewish and Christian scholars for the Heart of their faith."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Servant Song of Isaiah 53 Who is the Suffering Servant? The Battle between Jewish and Christian scholars for the Heart of their faith.

2 The Jewish View of Israel as God’s Suffering Servant Persec utions Sufferings The Holocaus t Disposse ssion Kristelna cht Ghettos Bombing s W ars Munich massacre Discrimina tion

3 It is one thing for Christians to claim New Testament texts as their own, but another thing entirely to also claim many texts in the Old Testament. Jews resent this because it amounts to a claim that the Jewish Bible is full of prophecies that point to Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus taught just that. (Luke 24:27) Isaiah 53 is the heart of Christianity, and speaks of the sufferings of Messiah Jesus in the most intricate detail. No wonder Isaiah 53 has become a biblical battleground!

4 The Christian View of the Suffering Servant sees Christ’s torture and crucifixion Isaiah 52:13 to 53:12 is the highest peak of Messianic prophecy. It is a view that takes in the ‘mountain peaks’ of prophecy, which include Isaiah 53

5 The Servant is mentioned twice before the first Servant Song of 41:8,9, and nine other times between songs (in 42:19 x 2; 43:10; 44:1,2; 44:21 x 2; 44:26; 48:20). The first Christians, who were Jews, saw Israel as God’s servant nation in these texts, but quoted from Isaiah 53 when proclaiming Jesus as the promised Messiah.

6 Prophetic peaks, or a suffering people – which? The Christian View of the Servant __________________________________________________ The Jewish View of the Servant

7 New Testament references to Isaiah 53: Isaiah 53:1 with John 12:38 & Romans 10:16. Isaiah 53:2-3 with Mark 9:12. Isaiah 53:4 with Matthew 8:17. Isaiah 53:5,6 with 1 Peter 2:24. Isaiah 53:9 with Matthew 27:60. Isaiah 53:10 with Mark 10:45 & 14:24. Isaiah 53:12 with Mark 15:28. Isaiah 53:12 with Luke 11:22. Isaiah 53:7,8 with Acts 8: Isaiah 53:12 with Luke 22:37. If Jesus was not the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 these texts would all be wrong.

8 Those who deny that Isaiah 53 portrays Jesus as the Suffering Servant reject quotes from it by the gospel writers Matthew, Mark and Luke, Philip the evangelist, the apostles Paul and Peter, and by Jesus himself. But Christians believe that all scripture is God- breathed. (2 Timothy 3:16)

9 Rabbinical scholars see Isaiah 53 as picturing the sufferings of the Jewish people, and interpret the first part as exclamations of Gentile kings at “the end of days.” The sufferings of the Jewish people certainly are portrayed in the figure of the Servant (as they are in the other songs). But Christians see Jesus as epitomizing that pain in his suffering for the sin of all mankind, and in his alienation from his Father.

10 So, who is the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 – is it the Jews, or is it Jesus? Answer: It is both. But only Jesus matches the description in every detail! He is the Greater Servant.


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