Referenced Messianic Jewish Review Blog

The official blog of the Referenced Messianic Jewish Review. The Referenced Messianic Jewish Review studies the history, composition and theology of the Messianic Jewish movement.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Reading and Undetstanding Isaiah 53

I feel that on a conceptual level, Isaiah 53 is one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented parts of the Bible.  I often get emails from individuals in the Messianic movement claiming that Jesus (or Yeshua, as they like to call him, which is of questionable historicity...alas, I will leave that for another day) is the Servant of Isaiah 53.  The Suffering Servant speech of Isaiah 53 (which really starts in Isaiah 52) is one of four Servant speeches in Isaiah.  Incidentally, the other speeches are clear that Israel is the Servant.

However, I want to address a more important, broader topic.  The same individuals that claim Jesus is the Servant also claim that Jesus is G-d.  Now we have a huge theological problem. G-d is the Master of the Universe.  There is nothing above G-d.  G-d is literally the King of Everything.  To claim that Jesus is both G-d and a Servant demeans G-d.  This lowers G-d from Master to a mere servant.  It is simply not possible for G-d to be anything but the Master.  Servants serve the master and G-d serves no one.  So, if Messianics want to claim that Jesus is the Servant of Isaiah 53 then they must drop the notion of Jesus being Divine or else they have insulted G-d by stating that G-d is a servant.  If Messianics want to believe that Jesus is Divine then they must drop the notion of Jesus being the Servant of Isaiah 53.  G-d is the One True Master and cannot ever be mistaken for a servant.