Hundreds of years after the book of Isaiah was written, an Ethiopian eunuch reads about Isaiah’s suffering servant who, “was led like a sheep to the slaughter” (see Acts 8:32-33 and Isaiah 53:7-8). This prompted the eunuch to ask Phillip, one of Jesus’ apostles, to explain the identity of this servant. Why is this eunuch so interested in the identity of the servant? He had at least two very good reasons.

First, without this servant, Isaiah 56:3-8 doesn’t happen. In that brief passage, this Ethiopian, whose genitals, and thus child-bearing potential, have been destroyed for empire-building, finds hope in the promises of greater honor that comes through having many sons and daughters. Second, and more significantly, Isaiah’s servant will welcome foreigners into God’s house, for it will be called “a house of prayer for all nations” (Isaiah 56:7). Without this servant, the Ethiopian eunuch and all those from other nations have no hope; however, Philip teaches that because of Jesus, nothing prevents us from being baptized in the name of the Servant, Jesus the Christ, and receiving the benefits of all His promises (Acts 8:34).

May all who have had hope destroyed, who have been crushed or looked down upon find great comfort in the savior who suffered a shameful death in order to turn our misfortune upside-down.