Least Powerful People
By Tracy Jessup
“Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account…Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:1-3, 12)
24/7 Wall St. is a corporation in Delaware which runs a financial news and opinion company with content delivered over the Internet. According to their website, “the company’s articles are republished by many of the largest news sites and portals, including MSN MarketWatch, USAToday, AOL, and newspaper and broadcast sites across America.”
While there are numerous “best” lists put out by various media outlets, 24/7 Wall St. regularly published an article that comprised the least powerful people in the world. Their most recent list was from an August 7, 2017 article and included public figures such as Anthony Scaramucci, White House Communications Director who was fired by President Trump less than two weeks after his appointment, as well as Tiger Woods, golf superstar who “has been embroiled in controversy on and off since reports of his infidelity came to light in late 2009.” Obviously, Tiger’s inclusion on the list was before his incredible win at the Masters in 2019, which came after an eleven-year drought in major championships.Embed from Getty Images
How do they go about identifying these individuals? “To identify the 50 least powerful people, 24/7 Wall St. compiled a list of many well-known individuals around the world who have recently experienced a precipitous loss in stature. Of these individuals, we selected those who fell the furthest from the greatest height.” Some of the people on the least powerful list were victims of circumstances. Others made poor business decisions. And some lost their influence because of moral failure. But none of them chose to become powerless.
Isaiah’s words have become the lens through which we view the sacrifice of Christ. The prophet’s description of Jesus, the Suffering Servant, seems to depict one who belongs on the all-time list of the least powerful people. But Jesus willingly chose to become powerless – to be “despised and rejected by others, a man of sorrows and acquainted with infirmity;…one from whom others hide their faces” and one regarded of no account.
Jesus chose to become powerless by humbling himself and being obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (cf. Philippians 2:8). Old Testament scholar Amanda Benckhuysen writes, “Even as the servant was humiliated for our transgressions, God allotted him a share with the great and the strong (53:12). This servant, whom the world counted as insignificant and of low estate changed the course of history and now, God has raised him to a position of glory and honor. And so yes, Jesus died. But on the third day, he rose again from the dead and now is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty” (“Commentary on Isaiah 52:13—53:12,” workingpreacher.org, 4/15/22).
Prayer: Lord, we thank you for Jesus, who looked death in the face and didn’t flinch and embraced the company of the lowest – taking on his own shoulders the sin of the many, and taking up the cause of all the black sheep (adapted from Isaiah 53:12, The Message).
Dr. Tracy Jessup serves as vice president for Christian Life and Service and senior minister to the University. He is a graduate of Gardner-Webb with a B.A. in Music and earned his M. Div. degree at Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He also teaches in the undergraduate department of religious studies and enjoys the opportunity to serve the local church through interim pastorates, pulpit supply, and preaching revival services. he and his wife, Teresa, have two children, Christian and Anna.
Read more Good Christian News from Dr. Jessup HERE.