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March 26, 2017

Sermon: Lent: The Fourth Servant Song: How to Serve

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Scripture Lesson

Isaiah 53:4-8; Acts 8:26-39

Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people.

Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Get up and go towards the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ (This is a wilderness road.) So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. Then the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over to this chariot and join it.’ So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ He replied, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’ And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this: ‘Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, and like a lamb silent before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.’ The eunuch asked Philip, ‘About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?’ Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?’ He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.

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Sermon Outline

Rev. Jonathan Swanson
Lent: Lent: The Fourth Servant Song: How to Serve
Isaiah 53:4-8; Acts 8:26-39

I. Introduction: Hagar the Horrible
II. Series: The Servant Songs
III. The story of the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-39)
     A. Led by God (8:26, 29, 36)
     B. “An Ethiopian eunuch” (8:27)
         1. The good (8:27, 31)
         2. The bad (Deut. 23:1)
     C. He is reading about Jesus (Is. 53:7-8)
         1. Jesus was willingly crucified (8:32)
         2. It was unfair (8:33)
         3. It was for us (Is. 53:5)
     D. “What is to prevent me?” (8:37)
     E. “Rejoicing” (8:39)
IV. How should we serve?
     A. Follow God’s lead
     B. Look for God in the unexpected
     C. Redo our definition of power
     D. Give ourselves willingly for others
     E. Rejoice
V. Conclusion: “Of God’s and Men” (2010)


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