Translations: Chinese GB Big5

Messiah - Labored in Vain

Isaiah 49:4
But I said, "I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing. Yet what is due me is in the LORDís hand, and my reward is with my God."


Comment

The Lord Jesus felt a sense of vanity and hopelessness in his earthly ministry to the Jews.
John 1:11  "He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him."
This is not referring to his mission to become the sacrifice lamb to bring salvation to the ends of the earth, but rather to his particular mission to Israel. "He who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself" Is 49:5 And he says, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." Mat 15:24 It was with respect to that mission that the Lord largely experienced failure during his earthly ministry. Even his own followers left him such as in John 6:66 "From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more." And from time to time he expresses a sense of exasperation in try to teach the Jews.

As we walk as Jesus did we will experience failure in ministry - even to the point of thinking, "I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing." But we can take comfort in the fact that such was what the Lord himself experienced. And also we can take comfort in the fact that it is not upon the basis of the results, but upon the basis of the labor itself that God will reward us.

Matthew 17:17  "O unbelieving and perverse generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?"

Matthew 23:37  "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing."

Therefore don't confuse "result's driven ministry" with "purpose driven ministry". God has called us to walk as Jesus did.


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