We've had other servant passages in Second Isaiah. Here is another where the servant seems to have been arrested and is being held captive. Imprisoned, he is taunted, tormented and tortured. He anticipates an eventual trial, even if it is by a predictably corrupt court. Standing in his faithfulness, the servant proclaims his faith in God and challenges his accusers to dare to make a real case against him. The True Judge, the Sovereign Lord, will vindicate him, and his faithful activity will be completed as the promise of God is fulfilled.
The familiar story of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem occurs in all the gospels (however, palms only appear in John's gospel; palms are not native to Jerusalem). Matthew is concerned with portraying Jesus as a devout and faithful Jew as he writes not simply for a Jewish audience, but to justify the nascent faith to non-Jews as being more faithful to Judaism than the typical Jews!
To this end, Matthew shows self-consciously how Jesus acts to fulfill the Zechariah 9 prophecy concerning how the Messiah of God's promise will be recognized by God's people. Alerted by this clear signal, riding a donkey into the city amid the throngs of pilgrims arriving, both Jews and Romans are tipped off as well as the people who are excited by the presence of this country preacher who has come to stand with God's people.
The peoples' excitement and enthusiasm will wane quickly as they see little from Jesus that resembles their expectations of deliverance and new life from the burdens of living under Roman occupation and corrupt quislings among the Jewish leadership.
Jewish and Roman leaders will wait and see about this Jesus character, knowing little about his agenda, his ideas, or his intentions. There will be time to deal with in days ahead.
As we consider these two characters, they've extended themselves in challenging directions, propelling themselves into dangerous consequences. Faith carries them forward in their mission. Faith finds its fulfillment when God carries the faithful servant through an ordeal and into the promise of new life.
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