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The Servant-Branch and Our Call to Follow

By Mike Pettengill, Jan 25, 2018

Listen, High Priest Joshua, you and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,” says the LORD Almighty, “and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day (Zechariah 3:8–9).

Before our family moved to the mission field, we enjoyed two professional salaries, a home with a swimming pool and lots of toys. The Lord provided our family with great financial blessings. As we left behind the American dream to move to the murder capital of the world, there was no shortage of friends, family and strangers who offered opinions of disapproval. We were told: “Honduras is the third world and no place to raise a family.”

The call of the Christian is not to seek false security or comfort. The call of each and every believer is to avail themselves to God’s plan for our lives. Not everyone is called to sell everything and move away, but we are all called to be willing to give up all we have for the Savior who sacrificed everything for us.

The prophecy from the prophet Zechariah combines two names for the foretold Messiah. He is referred to as both the Servant and the Branch. This Servant-Branch would remove sin from the world in one day. What a Servant indeed. From the almost extinct royal line of David, this Servant would serve like no other.

Jesus entered this world, not in luxury but surrounded by animal dung. He didn’t live a life of means but was an unassuming carpenter. He was not honored as nobility by the authorities but arrested, tortured and killed. As the Son of God, Jesus deserved respect, tribute, and worship. He knew before He came to earth He was coming to serve and supply salvation to the unworthy. His crucifixion was the most selfless form of service man has ever seen. C.S. Lewis said, “The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God.”

This suffering servant, this willing sacrifice, was sent to free the captives and provide sight to the blind. He demonstrated service to perfection. The New Testament is clear on what our response should be to hearing of Christ’s service. We are to follow in His steps, serving others as Christ has served us.

This was originally published in The Journey devotional. Mike Pettengill served in Honduras and Equatoria Guinea, and now serves as the director of the MTW West Coast office. 

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