Read Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Do You Despise God’s Suffering Servant?
In one of the most well-known passages of Old Testament prophecy, Isaiah describes in gritty detail the Suffering Servant and how His people rejected Him. In some of the saddest words concerning our Savior, the prophet wrote, “He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.” There are many ways in which man may despise the Messiah still today.
There are some who despise Jesus because they know by accepting Him, they themselves will be despised. That was the reason some in the first century rejected Him. “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:42-43).
Another way to despise the Lord is by refusing to suffer with Him. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12). If the ones who are persecuted are blessed and a great reward awaits them, what does that say about those who compromise the truth to avoid such persecution?
There are others who show their hatred for the Lord through their refusal to help His people. Jesus tells of the great judgment scene in Matthew 25:31-46, in which everyone is separated on the right and left. Those on the right were commended for everything they did for the Lord, while those on the left were condemned for neglecting His needs. Both groups questioned Him, “When did we do (or not do) these things?” His answer was simple: whatever you do or don’t do for “the least of these my brethren,” you do or don’t do for Jesus.
Finally, one may despise Jesus by refusing to accept what He says. When all is said and done, man will have no excuse for disobedience. “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).
Do you despise the Suffering Servant?