First, the Servant is presented as One who demonstrated a mutuality of presence. He was not aloof but was in the midst of those whose trust He sought (Isa. 42:1–2; 49:6; 50:8; 53:2). Indeed, the Servant exceeded all normal expectations by remaining present even when mistreated. When His contemporaries struck, despised, and rejected Him, the Servant was steadfast (Isa. 50:6; 53:3). By His presence He showed His trustworthiness.
Second, the Servant’s ministry was marked by a mutuality of discourse. He spoke necessary words to those around Him. The weary He sought to sustain and the adversary He sought to admonish (Isa. 50:4, 8–9). His manner was neither brash nor arrogant but meek and humble (Isa. 42:2–3). By His words He demonstrated His trustworthiness.
Finally, the Servant submitted to a mutuality of influence. Rather than project Himself in isolation from all others, He followed the lead of His Master (Isa. 50:4). He upheld the law as given to Israel (Isa. 42:1, 4). And He brought forth the promised salvation to the nations (Isa. 49:6). Again, He went beyond all reasonable requirements for establishing trust—when those around Him wrought injustice, the Servant did not retaliate (Isa. 53:7). He yielded, even unto death (Isa. 53:8). Through His submission, the Servant showed His trustworthiness.
The benefits enjoyed by those who trust in the Servant are explained by Isaiah throughout the celebratory songs in the second half of the book. Comfort, salvation, and blessing are given to the believing community (Isa. 44:22; 49:8, 13; 51:12; 52:9–10). Furthermore, there is an ordering effect by which societal relationships begin to flourish. As God’s people trust in the Servant, they exercise a reciprocity of trust with one another (Isa. 51:1, 7; 52:7; 54:13–14; 56:4, 6). Skepticism vanishes as they live mutually dependent lives.
In the present age of skepticism, the church must be diligent to avoid a deterioration of relational trust. If the body of Christ is to flourish, it must resist the influence of society and diligently pursue the mutualities upon which such trust is built. This effort begins by considering afresh the character and disposition of God. Moreover, from beginning to end this effort requires a consideration of His Servant, who proved Himself trustworthy. As we behold Him and His mission, we find One who enables and guides. He helps us trust and teaches us how. May the church proclaim, obey, and imitate God’s Servant, the Lord Jesus Christ, at this time. May He be worshiped as the trustworthy One on whom we depend.