Matthew 12:15-21 NRSV
God’s Chosen Servant
When Jesus became aware of this, he departed. Many crowds followed him, and he cured all of them, and he ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
“Here is my servant, whom I have chosen
my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not wrangle or cry aloud,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
He will not break a bruised reed
or quench a smoldering wick
until he brings justice to victory.
And in his name the Gentiles will hope.”
When Matthew wrote these words, the poetry and prophetical piece he quotes is from Isaiah. This prophecy pointed to the humble way our Lord would lead…a calm demeanor and gentle way.
In the prophecy, the “bruised reed” and the “smoldering wick” refer to the spiritually, physically, or morally weak. A reed that is bruised may be damaged, but it is not irreparable. A “smoldering wick” may be about to lose its fire altogether, but it can still be reignited.
We expect most people with special abilities to run to the nearest spotlight, or in some other way strive for as much fame as possible. But Jesus was not like that. In fulfillment of prophecy, He did not “shout” or raise a ruckus. He worked quietly, at times purposefully avoiding the public eye, to accomplish God’s will.
You may be a “bruised reed” in some way today. You may be pressed down with the troubles of this world. You may be struggling with doubt and fear. You may be feeble and disheartened and ready to break. But know this: Jesus cares. He will have pity for the broken-hearted, compassion for the humble, affection for the penitent, and healing for the afflicted. Come to Him in faith, humbly trusting His strength, and find that He is gracious to all.
Pastor Michael Williams