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Acts 8:26-29 & Isaiah 53 by Robert Dean
The Ethiopian Eunuch is reading from Isaiah 53 about "the Lamb" and asks Philip, "to whom does this refer?" Learn the enormous significance of this term for Israel. Consider the options for Philip’s answer: a historical figure, the nation Israel, or an individual who is Israel’s suffering Messiah? See when early Jewish Rabbis saw Isaiah 53 as a reference to their suffering Messiah and when and why that began to change. Learn about the different servant songs in Isaiah and the Servant who is the center focus, the delivering Servant of God who is fully God, fully man, the branch of David and eternal king. See the ongoing thread of the role of servant throughout Scripture that can be fulfilled by Jesus Christ alone.
Series:Acts (2010)
Duration:1 hr 5 mins 50 secs

Who is My Servant? Acts 8: 26-29, Isaiah 53


Last Sunday I went to Atlanta for a meeting which was a private meeting of 60 Christian leaders, primarily in the south-eastern region, for a special briefing session for AIPAC, the largest pro-Israel lobby group in the US. The highlight was the speaker who was a Major in the IDF reserves. Having heard a number of analyses of what is going on in the Middle East I regard this as by far the best. He had more detail, more information, and because we believe that God is in control it is not scary, but it is incredibly sobering to realise how really, really dangerous this world is and how nutty things are in the Middle East. I don't think in our lifetime we have ever seen anything near as explosive as the Middle East is right now; it is beyond anything that anybody has imagined it would be a couple of years ago. Nobody could have predicted it could be where it is today a couple of years ago with the Muslim Brotherhood taking over basically in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, a complete melt-down taking place in Syria. Abdulla, king of Jordan is doing everything he can to try to maintain some level of stability in Jordan. If Jordan were to go down that would just leave Israel in really bad circumstances. And that is not even mentioning Iran.

And even though we think well that is over there, the really scary thing is because the US is considered to be the big Satan and Israel the little Satan. That is not because the US is bigger and Israel is smaller, it is because they are considered to be the lesser moral danger and the lesser spiritual danger than the US. That is what big and little relates to. The US is the big Satan because it is the greater moral and spiritual danger than Israel, and if anything happens with Israel the lid is going to go off towards the US. Nobody should think that just because we are on the other side of the world … there are probably tens of thousands of Hezbollah terrorists—the worst terrorist organisation; the make al Qaeda look like terrorist wanna-be's—that have infiltrated the US through our porous southern border over the last ten years. They are just all sleepers waiting for something to go up so that they can cause all kinds of damage.    

We are in Acts chapter eight vv. 26-40 which is one of the great episodes in the founding and expansion of the church when God directed, through first an angel and then the Holy Spirit, Philip to go south along the Gaza road and to meet with this Ethiopian eunuch. In verse 26 we see the directive from the angel for Philip to go along this road.

Acts 8:30 NASB "Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, 'Do you understand what you are reading?'" He probably would have been reading the section from 52:12 to the end of chapter 53. Philips question is an interesting turn of the phrase in the Greek, ginoskeis ha anaginoskeis [ginwskeij a( a)naginwskeij]. You can hear the alliteration there. Basically the first verb ginosko would be translated "Do you understand, do you really comprehend what you are reading, or are you just reading the story?" The word for reading is another compound word based on ginosko—anaginosko, which usually means to read out loud. It is the same word used in Timothy when Paul tells Timothy to give attention to the public reading of Scripture.

Acts 8:31 NASB "And he said, 'Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?' And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him." He uses the word hodegeo [o(dhgew] which means to lead, to guide, to direct. It used of guiding a blind person; it is used in the LXX of God guiding or directing the Israelites through the desert, Moses guiding the Israelites in passages such as Exodus 15;13; 32:34. It expresses guidance. So he needs someone to tell him what it means. He is an unbeliever. 1 Corinthians 2:13 says the natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit of God because they are spiritually discerned. Because he is spiritually dead means he is lacking the internal immaterial components to fully comprehend the spiritual impact and teaching of a passage. So there needs to be further explanation and guidance, and God the Holy Spirit uses pastors, friends, people and literature to do that.

The Ethiopian had his own scroll, and that indicates he was wealthy enough to have his own copy. A scroll was usually about 8-12 inches wide and anywhere from 16 to 145 feet in length. It would have been written in square Hebrew text.

As Philip gets up on the chariot he continues to read the next verse, a verse he has a question on: Acts 8:32 NASB "Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was this: 'HE WAS LED AS A SHEEP TO SLAUGHTER; AND AS A LAMB BEFORE ITS SHEARER IS SILENT, SO HE DOES NOT OPEN HIS MOUTH. [33] IN HUMILIATION HIS JUDGMENT WAS TAKEN AWAY; WHO WILL RELATE HIS GENERATION? FOR HIS LIFE IS REMOVED FROM THE EARTH.'" One thing that is interesting here is that in the quotation in the Greek from the LXX the statement is made that He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and as a lamb before its shearers …" The word translated "lamb" is the Greek word onmos [o)mnoj], a word for lamb that is only used four times in all of the New Testament. This word is extremely significant.

In John chapter one it is used twice by John the Baptist with reference to Jesus: v. 29, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" Verse 36, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" This word for lamb is a word that would have had great significance if you were a Jewish listener because you would have connected that phrase "Lamb of God" with the Passover lamb, or with any lamb that was part of a sacrifice, a lamb that was without spot or blemish.

Remember that Peter had also been a disciple of John the Baptist before a disciple with Jesus, and he writes: 1 Pet 1:18, 19 NASB "knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb [omnos] unblemished and spotless, {the blood} of Christ."

These are the only four passages that use this term for "lamb" and it brings into focus the substitutionary sacrificial role of the lamb standing in the place of someone else. As the worshipper would come and put his hand on the lamb and recite his sins those sins were ritually being transferred from the person to the lamb, and then the lamb would be killed bearing the sin penalty.

But the question that is asked of Philip is a fairly simple one. Acts 8:34 NASB "The eunuch answered Philip and said, 'Please {tell me,} of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself or of someone else?'" So he is confused. He doesn't really understand who this whole passage is talking about. Is it Isaiah or somebody else? By the time of the first century there were some other options that had been suggested. Nothing had been developed in terms of an alternate type of interpretation but the first option would have been a historical figure such as the eunuch mentions, Isaiah himself. Or possibly other ideas that floated around in subsequent years with Elijah or maybe Hezekiah or the prophets. But none of these had any traction. In the early period of the church, the first century, and the period before the first century the evidence that we have is that the rabbis clearly understood Isaiah 53 to be referring to the Messiah, to an individual. They had difficulty reconciling that with their view that the Messiah would come as a ruling Messiah who would give victory to Israel. By the time of the first century when Jesus came the rabbis had already become myopic in their understanding of the Messiah as only a ruling Messiah and not a suffering Messiah. But the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures are clear, especially from Isaiah 53: that the Messiah is going to suffer and die for the iniquity of His people, and He is going to pay for the sins not only of Israel but for all people. That is very clear in this whole passage. But they couldn't reconcile the glory aspect of the Messiah with the suffering aspect of the Messiah, and they got the glory before the suffering. This is why when Jesus came lowly and humble and not as a victorious conquering hero they couldn't put that together.       

So one option was a historical figure—Isaiah himself or a prophet, and the second option was the nation or the people of Israel. There is some debate over this because it is really not until much later in history that there is a definitive, well articulated interpretation among the rabbis that becomes accepted that it tries to interpret the servant here as the people or the nation Israel. There are a couple of things cited that indicate that this idea was floated out there maybe as early as the second century, but nobody bit. It wasn't an idea that really grabbed anybody. The primary idea through the first millennia of the church age among Jewish writers was that this was an individual.

The verse that is quoted by the Ethiopian eunuch starts in the middle of Isaiah 53:7. He starts with the sentence, NASB "HE WAS LED AS A SHEEP TO SLAUGHTER; AND AS A LAMB BEFORE ITS SHEARER IS SILENT, SO HE DOES NOT OPEN HIS MOUTH." Then in the next verse it reads different because he is quoting from the LXX. So the Septuagint has a variation from the Massoretic text, whether it is a paraphrase or whatever the reason is the focus is still the same: the servant of God, referred to as "my servant."

So we take a diversion and do a study of Isaiah 53, such a critical passage to understand. The section actually begins at the end of Isaiah chapter 52. Isaiah 52:13 NASB "Behold, My servant …" This is part of a servant psalm. There are four servant psalms in the latter part of Isaiah which goes from chapter forty to sixty-six. Among liberal scholars (because the theme of Isaiah 40-66 is so much different from chapters 1-39) in the 19th century who thought everything in the Bible was cobbled together by editors much later than the claims of Scripture believed that Isaiah could not have written these two different parts because they had different themes, different focus, different vocabulary. This just shows the problems of these liberal scholars because there are many people throughout the world who write as experts in many fields. Lewis Carol who we know wrote Alice In Wonderland also wrote a textbook on symbolic logic. It is suggested that if a computer was taken to do a study of the words that are used in Through The Looking Glass and the words that are used in his Symbolic Logic there is not a whole lot of overlap. It is completely different subject matter and a completely different approach to literature—a completely different style of literature. So it would be just asinine to come along and say Lewis Carol wrote Through The Looking Glass and Alice in Wonderland so he couldn't possibly have written a technical book on symbolic logic. That just shows how narrow minded and limited some people are.

So we need to ask the question: Why would there be this difference? Maybe the text can actually tell us. In Isaiah 1-39 we have a focus on future judgment by God upon the nations and upon Israel for her disobedience to God. Isaiah begins with a focus on the future millennial kingdom, the reign of Messiah and the glories that will come to Israel. Then this is followed by various chapters dealing with the judgments on Babylon and various other nations that surrounded Israel. It is really depressing when we read through it and if we were living in Israel at that time we would think the world was just going to fall apart because there is going to be horrible, horrible judgments and Isaiah is foretelling the destruction of the kingdom of Judah and Jerusalem by the Babylonians within 150 years because of their disobedience to God. This is not a happy message. He is condemning the false prophets and false teachers in Israel at the time and it is a time of darkness and chaos in the world, and it is going to be really bad. But there is hope, and it is never that dark because God is in control.

Isaiah 40-66 doesn't focus on judgment; it focuses on God's future provision and deliverance of Israel, the fulfilment of all of God's promises for Israel and how that no matter how terrible, how dark, how destructive or how horrendous things get God is still in control and therefore even though it appears to be unstable it is really stable because God controls history. God is going to fulfil all of His promises and deliver Israel. It is a message of hope. The last 27 chapters of Isaiah focus on God's future deliverance so it is a different focal point than what we have in the first 39 chapters. And in the heart of this section from Isaiah 40-66 is the section from 52:13 to 53:12. This is the heart of this message and it focuses on the deliverer and what He will do to deliver God's people.

What is interesting today in the Jewish community is that Jews do not encourage the reading of certain passage of the Hebrew Scriptures. In fact, according to one writer the synagogues all read the same passages of Scripture every week so that around the world they are reading off the same page. According to this writer, as they get to the third Sabbath in August the reading ends at Isaiah 52:12 and then the next reading begins at Isaiah 54:1. So from Isaiah 52:13 to 53:12 are not read and they are not discussed. One of the reasons for this is that during the period of the early church and through the Middle Ages by reading through this particular section hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of Jews became Christians because it was just so obvious when reading through this section that it must have been a prophecy related to the Messiah and Jesus fulfilled it. It was taken out of their reading. But this is a passage that clearly predicts a suffering Messiah, a Messiah who suffers as a substitute for the people, so they will not suffer; and that the death of this suffering servant is not due to anything unjust or wrong in His life but that His death itself is an injustice because He is without sin, and it is on the basis of His death, His substitutionary work, that many will be justified (53:11).

In 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 the apostle Paul talks about the gospel, and in summarizing says that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. For the apostle Paul the Scriptures were the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament. So where do we find the Hebrew Old Testament clearly talking about the fact that the Messiah would die for our sins? Right here in Isaiah chapter 53. This has been one of those issues, if not the primary issue, that has caused such  a division between Jews and Christians over the last 2000 years.

Isaiah 52:13-15 is an introductory summary of what is covered in Isaiah 53:1-12. Isaiah 52:13 NASB "Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted." The end result of the work of the servant is that He is going to be exalted to the highest extent. [14] "Just as many were astonished at you, {My people,} So His appearance was marred more than any man And His form more than the sons of men." His visage is His facial features, and this indicates that He is so tortured, beaten to a pulp, that no one could recognise Him.

The result of this: Isaiah 52:15 NASB "Thus He will sprinkle many nations …" The word for sprinkle there is the same word that is used of a priest dipping his hand in the blood and sprinkling it on the altar. It is the same word that is used in numerous sacrificial contexts. He will sprinkle "many nations" [Gentiles]. This is a clear statement in the summary here that the servant is not only going to die for Israel but also for the Gentiles. His death is going to have a universal application. "… Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; For what had not been told them they will see, And what they had not heard they will understand." The profundity of the gospel is emphasised there. So according to Isaiah 52:14, 15 He suffers for the people of Israel, His blood will sprinkle many nations, and therefore it is clear from these verses that He will be the saviour of both the Jews and the Gentiles.

If we look at this whole section of Isaiah we have to understand something of its background and organisation. There are three basic divisions in Isaiah 40-66. The first focus is on the reality of a future deliverance for Israel. God promises that He will deliver no matter how dark it may appear, no matter how chaotic circumstances may appear—chapters 40-48. And within that there is the first song of the servant in Isaiah 42:1-9. The second division is a focus on the future deliverer of Israel and the focal point of chapters 49-55 is 52:13-53:12. There are three songs in this section. The second is in Isaiah 49:1-13, the third song is in 50:4-11, and the fourth song is in 52:12-53:13. Then Isaiah 56-66 focuses on the future deliverer of Israel—the future deliverance of Israel, the kingdom in the future and what that will be like.

For the most part in the history of interpretation among Jewish commentators, including the Targums and the Midrash is that this passage is talking about the Messiah, and it was understood to be an individual in this passage. However, during the first thousand years or so after the fall of the temple many Jews were led to a belief in Jesus as the Messiah from reading this passage. So there were various attempts to try to reinterpret this—the suffering servant is Elijah, Hezekiah or Isaiah. Even today somebody comes up with a new interpretation but most of the time they don't have any traction. By there was one famous rabbi known by the name of Rashi who was revolutionary in developing a new allegorical interpretation, a system of interpretation that was applied to numerous messianic prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures. His attempt was to basically remove the prophecies of an individual Messiah from the Old Testament. One of the interesting things about him is that this happened later in his life and he changed his views, but in his earlier commentary on the Talmud when he was younger he took an individual messianic interpretation of Isaiah 53. When the printing press came along, in some of the first Bible that were printed there was also included his commentaries on the Old Testament. That influenced some Protestant reformers—like Calvin and a few others—so that they also had some of these views of some of these passages that we normally view as being messianic, weren't.

Looking at Isaiah 53 we look at this immediate context and recognise that there is this emphasis on deliverance. This deliverance comes from an individual figure referred to in this section as "My servant." So we have to ask the question: who is the servant of God? There is debate on this, and if we are talking to anybody Jewish about this they will come up with the interpretation that the servant is the nation Israel.

There are different people identified with different servants in Isaiah, so it is not like we could say every time it is "my servant" it is Israel or every time it is "my servant" it is the Messiah, because it is not. For example, in Isaiah 20:3 it refers to Isaiah himself but that doesn't work all the time. In Isaiah 22:20 it is "my servant Eliakim." In Isaiah 37:35 it is "my servant David." So there are different people who are identified as the servant of Yahweh. It is also very clear in some passages that the servant is also seen as the people of Israel. Isaiah 41:8, 9 – "you Israel are my servant." Isaiah 42:18-20 where it is a criticism of Israel being spiritually deaf, blind and ignorant of spiritual truth. In verse 19 God says, "Who is blind but My servant …" This is the negative criticism that the servant has failed to fulfil his role as a servant. In Isaiah 43:10 God says, "You are My witnesses … and My servant whom I have chosen…"; Isaiah 44:1, "But now listen, O Jacob, My servant, And Israel, whom I have chosen."

In these passages it is clear that they refer to Israel as the servant of God. But the question is: Is that who God is speaking about when we get into the servant psalms. Isaiah also points out the flaws, the failures of Israel as God's servant. Israel is too corrupt and too sinful to fulfil God's mission for them as His servant. Isaiah 1:4 NASB "Alas, sinful nation, People weighed down with iniquity, Offspring of evildoers, Sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned the LORD, They have despised the Holy One of Israel, They have turned away from Him." Isaiah 29:10 NASB "For the LORD has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, the seers." Isaiah 48:1 NASB "Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are named Israel And who came forth from the loins of Judah, Who swear by the name of the LORD And invoke the God of Israel, {But} not in truth nor in righteousness" – giving lip service to God and to the Torah. So the nation of Israel is viewed as being too corrupt. They need a redeemer. How can Israel be the redeemer to redeem themselves when they are in need of a redeemer.

So Isaiah presents a second servant, and it is the role of the second servant to fulfil the mission of redemption for the people. Isaiah 52:9 NASB "Break forth, shout joyfully together, You waste places of Jerusalem; For the LORD has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem." His role is mentioned in Isaiah 42:7 NASB "To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the dungeon And those who dwell in darkness from the prison." This is quoted as fulfilment in the ministry of Jesus. Isaiah 53:11 NASB " … By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities." In Isaiah 53 the servant is modified by what noun? "Righteous." Can Israel be called a righteous servant? Not at all; not in line with those other passages just quoted. Isaiah 49:5, 6 NASB "And now says the LORD, who formed Me from the womb [the human, physical aspect], to be His Servant to bring Jacob back to Him [How can Israel bring Jacob back? He can't, this has to be a separate person], so that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of the LORD, And My God is My strength), He says, "It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth." The role of the servant is to bring Jacob back so that Israel is "gathered to Him" [NKJV].

The servant is given to bring Israel back to God, but that is too small. We are not going to limit God's grace to just bringing the Jews back; God's grace goes to all the nations. It is clear from the context that the servant seems to be an individual, not the nation Israel. Two servants are in view: Israel initially, but the only servant who can provide redemption is the servant mentioned in Isaiah 53.

As we begin to approach this section (52:13-53:12) we see that it is formed in a chiasm, a literary device that organises words, lists, topics in an order so that they have a certain flow. There is a focus on the servant's glory in light of His suffering in Isaiah 52:13-15. When we come to the end of chapter 53 there is an emphasis again on the servant's glory in view of His suffering. The servant's submissive character is emphasised in Isaiah 53:1-3; it is again emphasised in the passage quoted by the Ethiopian, Isaiah 53:7, 9. The centrepiece is Isaiah 53:4-6. The reason it is called a chiasm is the Greek letter chi [x], the letter X. If we take that letter and line it up it is the centre point that is the emphasis. It is not that the other points aren't important, but it is a rhetorical device that is used by a writer to focus the reader's attention on something. The centrepiece here, vv. 4-6, is the role of the servant as the substitutionary atonement for the people.

Is 52:13 NASB "Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted." The Hebrew word for "behold" is a command to come to attention, to pay attention, to wake up and watch; this is something important to listen to. He focuses attention on the servant. What is interesting is the way this connects with other statements related to "behold" and "servant" that we have in the other prophets. Remember that Isaiah was written in the seventh century BC. Zechariah was written after the Jews had returned to the land, somewhere around 515 BC, about 150 years after Isaiah, so he is referring back to what Isaiah has said. Zechariah assumes that his readers know Isaiah, so he says: Zechariah 3:8 NASB "Now listen, Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who are sitting in front of you—indeed they are men who are a symbol, for behold, I am going to bring in My servant the Branch." Same terminology: "behold, My servant." But now we have something else to clarify the picture, the servant is called "the Branch."

This is an important term because it comes out of Isaiah. It is a messianic title. Isaiah 11:1 NASB "Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit." It is picturing the house of Jesse, the descendants of Jesse, as a tree. But the tree has been cut down, there is a stump there, and now there is going to be a new shoot, a new branch that is going to come out of that stump. The way that was fulfilled is that it looked like the Davidic line ended with the defeat of Judah in 586. They come back under Zerubbabel who was a Davidic descendant trying to re-establish themselves in Judah after the Babylonian captivity. Then in the inter-Testamental period the Davidic line just seems to have disappeared. The all of a sudden there is the beginnings of the Gospels and Jesus and His lineage is given in both Matthew and Luke, Matthew to show He can't be the physical descendant of Joseph because Joseph came from Jeconiah. God has cursed the line of Jeconiah and so Matthew chapter one is given to show us that Jesus could not be the physical son of Joseph. Luke is given to show that He is the physical son of Mary and He has a direct line to the Davidic heirship through His mother, Mary. So out of the stump of Jesse that appeared to be dead a new branch is growing forth and will bring new life to the kingdom.

This is also stated some 100 years after Isaiah by Jeremiah. Jeremiah 23:5 NASB "Behold, {the} days are coming," declares the LORD, "When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land."

Jeremiah 33:15 NASB "In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth." So the future Branch is righteous. This is the same thing we see in Isaiah 53, that the servant is righteous—"My righteous servant," v. 11. 

Another things that we learn here is that He is a man; He is fully human. Zechariah 6:12 NASB Then say to him, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD" – referring to the future temple that Ezekiel described in Ezekiel 40ff. Also in Zechariah 9:9 NASB "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout {in triumph,} O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey." So we have Behold the Branch, Behold the man, Behold the king. In Isaiah 40:9 NASB "Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news, Lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news; Lift {it} up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, '[Behold] Here is your God!'" This is the beginning of the servant section in Isaiah, and now it is, "Behold your God." All of this connects together in terms of the different roles of the servant. He is fully human; He is fully God; He is the King of Israel; He is the Branch, the descendant of David.

When we get into the New Testament we see this connection of how this phraseology that we have in Isaiah pulls together in terms of the presentation of Jesus in the four Gospels. For example, Matthew is all about presenting Jesus as the King—Behold the King. The placard that is placed over the cross by Pilate, Matthew 27:37. In Mark the focus is on Jesus as the servant, the Branch as the servant of Yahweh. "The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many," Mark 10:45. In Luke the emphasis is on Jesus as the Son of Man, the son of David. Luke 19: 10 NASB "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." In the Gospel of John the focus is on the deity of Jesus. He is the Son of God. John 20:30, 31 NASB "Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name."

In Isaiah 52:12 Israel had failed by this point and is replaced by the second servant who is faithful. Psalm 40:7, 8 NASB "Then I said, 'Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.'"

In the New Testament in Philippians Jesus is the one who emptied Himself as the second person of the Trinity and took on the form of a bondservant, and was made in the likeness of men. So when we get pack to our passage in Isaiah 52:13 the servant is the one who deals wisely or prudently with His people. That is also applied in Jeremiah 23:5 to the Branch. NASB "Behold, {the} days are coming," declares the LORD, "When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land." 

He is going to be exalted and lifted up very high above all of the angels. An ancient Jewish Midrash said that He would be higher than Abraham, higher than Moses, and higher than the ministering angels. He is higher than Abraham because He is the Son of God whose day Abraham looked forward to. He is higher than Moses because He is the mediatory of a better covenant, according to Hebrew chapters seven and eight. And He is exalted above the angels, Hebrews chapter one. What is the result of this? He is exalted above everyone, Isaiah 52:13. We see that in the great servant passage in Philippians chapter two, that He will be exalted by God and have bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

The themes that are in Isaiah 52:13-53:12 are pulled together by later prophets. They tie all these things together and then they fit integrally with everything in the New Testament about Jesus. It all comes together.