As we continue to study about servant leadership from Isaiah 42, we now turn our attention to the activity of a servant leader.
1. ‘—–he will bring justice to the nations’ (v1).
Establishing justice becomes a key activity for a servant leader. Right from the times of Old testament leaders who administered justice for the Jewish nation, to the early church leaders who took care to ensure that justice was provided, this activity is a reflection of the compassionate and righteous nature of God. The gospel cannot be divorced from justice. The Lord’s servant will ensure that the needy and the orphans are cared for and the ones who cannot raise their voice are heard. However it is also important to realize that justice needs a reference point and this reference point is in the very nature of God found in the gospels. There can be no gospel without justice; there can be no justice without the gospel. When justice is interpreted apart from the nature of God, chaos results.
2. ‘A bruised reed he will not break and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out——’ (v3).
Life is not easy for the average man. At various points in his life, he will find the going tough, as he wrestles against circumstances he cannot control and challenges that are too big for him. One of man’s greatest needs is encouragement and it becomes the sacred duty of a servant leader to seek out those that are hurting and bruised and encourage them in the faith. Time and again, we see Paul urging his listeners in the epistles ‘not to give up the faith and to keep fighting the good fight’. It is the way of the world to knock out a wounded man, but the way of the cross to lift him up.
3. ‘—will make you to be a light for the Gentiles to open eyes that are blind——’ (v6,7)
Absence of light is darkness and if Jesus is the light of the world, then all who do not know him are living in darkness. A minister for God will dispel darkness around him by not just his words but also by his life lived in the truth. Imagine a huge underground system of caves with a few candles at various points that light up the area. That is the spiritual reality of the world. A person who knows Christ is like a candle that gives out light and the opportunity for others to recognize the truth and also ultimately acknowledge the Ultimate truth in Jesus. Be it a worker doing his job conscientiously or a student refusing to cheat or a businessman refusing to steal, all are examples of how a Christian becomes a light for those around him.
4. ‘—to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness’ (v7)
A life lived well and the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus are two sides of the same coin. It is truly the gospel that becomes a light for those struggling through darkness. Man likes to think he is free. The reality is that he is trapped by the systems and the philosophy of this world and in effect has no choice but to follow. Enslaved to sin, he lives out his life, continuing under the bondage of the sinful nature within. It is only when he receives the gospel of Christ that the resultant indwelling of God’s Spirit brings forth freedom from captivity, enabling him to dissociate from the pattern of the world and live in submission to God.
The activity of a servant leader achieves much, and as he does so provides the much needing healing balm for a broken world.
- THE ATTITUDE OF A SERVANT LEADER
- GOD’S SUSTENANCE OF A SERVANT LEADER