Daily Thought for: 13th August

HOLY CHILD JESUS

Acts 4. 23-31

The passage we are reading today contains the prayer of persecuted saints who had sought and found perseverance and encouragement in the Scriptures. They recognized that the opposition was against the Christ of God. They realized the value of the Old Testament Scriptures to New Testament saints. They knew the truth of inspiration; ‘God... who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said’, v. 25.

It is interesting to note that the word for ‘servant’ in the expression ‘thy servant David’ is the same word that is translated ‘child’ in the title ‘thy holy child Jesus’. This translation is repeated in chapter 4 verse 30. It is the word translated ‘Son’ in Acts chapter 3 verses 13 and 26. What is the essence of the word? What are its connotations when it refers to the Lord Jesus? In the context of our passage, there seems to be a contrast between the rulers, Herod and Pontius Pilate, and the ‘child Jesus’. Luke stresses that He was ‘thy holy child’. The ‘Lord’ and ‘Christ’ of verse 26 is the ‘child’ of verse 27. As the disciples feel their own vulnerability in the face of their foes, are they thinking of One who stood alone against mightier foes?

Perhaps we also need to see in this title both the thoughts of servant and child. We may recall that Mark in his gospel sets forth the Lord Jesus as the Servant. ‘For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many’, Mark 10.45 ESV. There, the word used for servant is diakonos. In the Greek word doulos, ‘slave’, we see a servant in relation to his master, in diakonos we see a servant in relation to his work.

In the Old Testament, the Messiah is presented as the Servant of Jehovah by Isaiah. God said of Him, ‘Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth’, Isa. 42. 1. Again we read, ‘Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high’, Isa. 52.13. It is interesting that when Matthew quotes from Isaiah chapter 42 he uses the same word for the Servant of the Lord.

We can see in the title before us the Servant-Son, the One in whom the Father had such unparalleled delight.

 

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