(Can you find the frog on the tree in the image? Answer below.)
Second Isaiah presents another of the "servant" passages. Here the servant is likened to a sharp sword, yet hidden in the shadow of God's hand, and like a polished arrow, yet hidden in God;s quiver. What is God doing hiding his servant and his servant's capabilities? And from whom?
Well, it turns out that all this is hidden even from the servant! He thinks he's a failure, yet God gives him a promotion. "Abhorred and despised," but apparently this servant has something going for him that has impressed God greatly.
Jesus seems like he should be a pretty familiar character, except he wasn't in the beginning. John's gospel tells about Jesus in the time right after his baptism. Just another newly baptized disciple of John? Not according to John who gushes about Jesus being the Chosen One from God - the Messiah! But even John admits that he had no idea who Jesus was, his true identity as Messiah havikng been hidden from John.
We then follow the future disciples who are following around Jesus, trying to figure out how this guy is the Messiah. It doesn't come easily for them either.
This answers the oft-asked question of whether we would recognize Jesus if he came today. Quite simply: No.
So how did these guys figure it out and decide to follow Jesus? For that, there is the sermon video below and downloads below the video panel. But first, the frog on the tree revealed; see it now?