24 Feb. Mark 9:11-13

24 Feb. Jesus - the "suffering servant" of God

"Then they asked Jesus, 'Why do the teachers of the [Jewish] law say that Elijah must come first?' Jesus answered, 'They are right to say that Elijah must come first and make everything the way it should be.'"

"'But why does the Scripture say that the Son of Man will suffer much and that people will treat him as if he were nothing?'"

"'I tell you that Elijah has already come. And people did to him whatever they wanted to do, just as the Scriptures said it would happen.'"

          (Mark 9: 11-13)

 

 

It was widely believed among the Jews of Jesus's day that the prophet Elijah would return to earth prior to the coming of the Messiah or Christ, the 'anointed one' of God.

Elijah was greatly revered for his efforts to bring the Jewish people of his day back to worshipping God. In the LORD's name, Elijah had commanded a drought as a punishment for King Ahab's atrocious sins and his idol worship (see 1 Kings 16:29-17:1); he had brought a boy back from the dead (see 1 Kings 17:17-24) and had killed the prophets of Baal (see 1 Kings 18:1-40).

The Bible records that Elijah did not die, but was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind on a chariot of fire (see 2 Kings:9-11). As a result, many Jews believed that Elijah would return at some point before the final judgement at the end of the world. In Malachi 4:5, the LORD All-powerful said, "But I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrifying day of the LORD's judging."

Jesus made it clear to the crowds that John the Baptist had already performed the prophetic role of Elijah by preparing the way for Jesus himself. He told the crowds to believe that “John is Elijah, whom they said would come” (Matthew 11:14).

But John had been imprisoned and beheaded by Herod Antipas in 28AD at the request of his step-daughter, urged on by her mother, Herodias (who had been criticised by John for marrying her brother-in-law, Herod).

Jesus told his followers that he too would be treated in a similar manner, as "the Son of Man will suffer much and people will treat him as if he were nothing."

Jesus's word's reflect the prophesy of Isaiah (in Chapter 53), where the author describes God’s "suffering servant" - the one who would bear on himself the suffering of all mankind:

The LORD’s servant would be meek. He would grow up like a tender shoot taking root in dry ground. “He had no special beauty or form to make us notice him; there was nothing in his appearance to make us desire him.” (Isaiah 53:2)

He would suffer. “He was hated and rejected by people. He had much pain and suffering.” (Isaiah 53:3) “But he took our suffering on him and felt our pain for us.” (Isaiah 53:4)

He would be punished because of the wrongdoing of others. “But he was wounded for the wrong we did; he was crushed for the evil we did. The punishment, which made us well, was given to him, and we are healed because of his wounds.” (Isaiah 53:5)

He would bear the punishment for mankind’s sin. “We all have wandered away like sheep; each of us has gone his own way. But the LORD has put on him the punishment for all the evil we have done.” (Isaiah 53:6)

You can read more about the "suffering servant" of God @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/the-suffering-servant-of…/


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