Passage: Isaiah 61:1-4
Scholars have been puzzled over the identity of the servant in Isaiah. But to worry about that question is to miss the larger point that the servant is not named is deliberate. Many within Israel could be the servant in different times, places and circumstances and it is utterly appropriate that Jesus is also regarded as the servant. With all of our knowledge and wisdom, we have a tendency to focus on the wrong thing and miss the main thing. As a person of color, one who grew up in the inner city, who attended public schools which lacked funding and resources, whose parents struggled to make ends meet; when I read this text, my mind and heart go directly to those who are the object of the servant’s mission—the poor, the captives, the oppressed. My initial concern is not the identity of the one being sent to help. From the perspective of the one in need, it doesn’t matter if the servant is black or white, male or female, Jew or Gentile—the servant has come to offer compassion.
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