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Bible Study: The Service of the Servant - Baptism of Our Lord

Text:  Isaiah 42:1-9 for the First Sunday after Epiphany/Baptism of Our Lord, Lectionary Series A

Download a PDF of the Bible Study: The Service of the Servant - Baptism of Our Lord Old Testament

Participants will see that Jesus, as the Lord's Servant, brings justice and righteousness to the world. 

Group Guidelines
Divide into small groups of 4-6 people. The leader for each group will be the person whose birthday is closest to today. The leader's task is to keep the group moving through the study and to encourage participation from everyone in the group. 

Building Community

1.       What is your image of a servant? Do you imagine someone who looks like a maid or a butler, complete with black and white outfits and funny accents? Or do you imagine the personal attendants for medieval kings and queens?

2.       What is your definition of a servant? Someone who...(check those that apply)

____serves others
____performs duties for a master or personal employer
____is the domestic hired help
____is completely in the service of another and has no freedom but to obey
____obeys and serves another

3.       What services does a servant perform?

4.       When was the last time someone served you?

5.       Have you ever been a servant? When?

6.       Do you consider yourself a servant? Why or why not? 

Looking at God's Word

1.       Take turns reading verses from Isaiah 42:1-7 out loud in your group. Which of the following definitions of "servant" do you think best reflects the role of servant described in this passage?
trusted envoy               confidential representative                  slave
king's attendant            voluntary follower                              minister
Discuss your answer in the group.

2.       What qualities does this servant have?

3.       What was the servant's ultimate purpose?

4.       Today, who might be described as:
a bruised reed?
a dimly burning wick?
the blind?
those who sit in darkness?

5.       What justice could this servant bring to...
a bruised reed?
a dimly burning wick?
the blind?
those who sit in darkness?

6.       What justice could this servant bring to your life 

Reinforcing What Has Been Learned

Jesus was the fulfillment of the servant role described in this section of Isaiah. Complete the following statements and share your answers in your small group.

Jesus' role as a servant means that He...
Jesus' greatest act of service for me was...
My role as a servant means that I...
An important learning I would like to remember from this study is... 


Come back together as a large group. Make a list of people and situations that could benefit from the service of the Servant. Get volunteers to pray for these requests during a closing prayer. 

Originally published in Discovery Bible Studies V, studies on the Old Testament readings for lectionary series A, in 1992. 

Republished and revised in January 2014 for thESource.

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