This text is largely a quote from the First Servant Song in the writings of the Prophet Isaiah. These four songs are uncannily descriptive of the passion and suffering of Jesus and so from very early on the Fathers of the Church have often seen them as prophecies of the redeemer who eventually came in the person of Christ. They are well worth reading in this respect so here are the others: Isa 49:1-6; 50:4-9a & 52:13 – 53:12. Scripture scholars do not strictly consider them messianic in nature as they do not explicitly speak about the Davidic Kingship however, as far as we are concerned spiritually, this is a legitimate interpretation.

It is quite obvious that Matthew believes they refer to Jesus and they thus serve a useful purpose to him in helping to explain the opposition Jesus gets to his ministry. After all the Prophet Isaiah predicted it and we all know how important a prophet he is!

Let us focus on one aspect of the text namely the mention of how the servant is to be empowered by the Spirit of God. This mention of the Spirit is a reminder to us that the Spirit of God is an almost silent partner in the work of preparing for the Messiah. He gets a mention from time to time and plays an important role in the ministries and lives of a few of the Old Testament figures namely Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and a few others.

However, the Spirit really comes into his own in both the preaching of Jesus where he places the Spirit at the centre of our relationship with God – the Advocate who always pleads our cause. The Holy Spirit becomes even more active in the life of the Early Church and its understanding of how followers of Jesus are empowered to live and proclaim the Gospel. It is important that we recognize the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus as well. It is the Spirit of God who is the expression of the love between the Father and the Son – the essence of their relationship becomes so tangible that he is described in the Third Person of the Trinity.

What is my relationship with the Holy Spirit like? Am I living my life under his grace and power or am I more likely to be trying to live under my own power and gifting?

Holy Spirit, come into my life in a more powerful way so that I will be better able to live as a disciple of Jesus. Help me to surrender more and more to you each day.