For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
— ISAIAH 53:2-3 —
L. J. | Asia
We live in an era when serving the church as a full-time minister is generally considered an honorable, and even envious, vocation. Some people enter the ministry with wrong motives and are later disappointed after chasing the deceitfulness of personal glory. But Jesus Christ our Master is set forth as the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53. Expect that suffering will come along the way when serving the church—do not be surprised. He stands in sharp contrast to the self-gratifying ministry we too-often see in ministry “professionals.” Take note of a few key aspects of the suffering nature of His service. The picture of a “tender shoot” and “parched ground” speaks about the humble circumstances in which Jesus grew up. There was nothing special in His external appearance that would capture the attention of others. Moreover, those He came to serve did not approve of or give respect to Him. He was an obedient servant who fully ex-pended Himself to the ministry handed Him by the Father. The true call for Christians is to become like Jesus in His serving. Suffering and serving go together in Christian ministry. If you seek after glory, you will be disappointed. Expect that suffering will come along the way when serving the church—do not be surprised. It is the call and experience of Christians worldwide. Let us walk in the footsteps of the Master-Servant, and serve the people in His church. Take comfort when you suffer because you are modeling Christ in your serving.