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The Messiah Ministers to Hurting People.


Matthew 12:14-21

Jesus cares for you, and in this passage Matthew reminds us of Isaiah’s prophecy, one of the ‘servant songs’ which speak of the coming Messiah, about Jesus, in which we are told that God’s Servant will never break the bruised reed or quench the smoking wick. It’s a message of comfort for us.

1. The Background Events!
Let’s see the context, so that we can see how these verses from Isaiah are being used here by Matthew:
* Jesus’ disciples have come under criticism from the Pharisees. (12:8)
* Another Sabbath came, (Luke 6:6) and the Pharisees were back on watch. Jesus was in the synagogue, and there was a man there with a withered hand. 12:9-10. They were looking for faults. Jesus drew their attention to the fact that it was lawful to rescue an animal on the Sabbath, and reminded them that a man is more valuable in God’s eyes than a beast. He commanded the man to stitch out his hand, and as he stretched it out it was healed, made as well as the other arm. The Pharisees sought to destroy Jesus. 12:14.
* Interestingly, Jesus, being aware of the anger of the Pharisees, didn’t do anything further to provoke them. 12:15 . He warned the disciples not to ‘make him known’  A prophecy must be fulfilled, and part of that would involve the fact that unlike the noisy demagogues of political a cultural and social life, – Jesus would not shout out in the streets!

So it is now that Matthew notes that Jesus was the exact fulfilment of a prophecy given in Isaiah 42:1-4.

2. Isaiah’s Prophecy – Fulfilled in Jesus
Let’s look at the prophecy as we have t here in Matthew, and as it is applied to Jesus. There are four elements to the prophecy:-

1. Messiah will bring JUSTICE. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. At the cross, justice prevailed for there God’s justice was fully satisfied, as his own Son bore the penalty and punishment for our sins – the penalty and punishment that was rightly due to us.
2. Messiah will go about His work QUIETLY. He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; Jesus, as he fulfilled the prophecy, was never aggressive or loud or forceful. In fact, when he stood before those who were accusing him, he said nothing. Isaiah 53:7
3. Messiah will CARE FOR THE HURTING. a bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not quench. He had already demonstrated that love and care in this passage. Jesus always cared for those who were hurting. 12:15, AND HE HEALED THEM ALL.
4. Messiah will bring SALVATION to those who are afar off. and in his name the Gentiles will hope. The promise is that Christ, the Messiah would bring the Gentiles, that’s us, into the gracious covenant of redemption that God has made with His people. Paul, writing to the Ephesians gives us an account of this:- Ephesians 2:11-14
All of these precious promises were perfectly fulfilled in Jesus. Is it any wonder then that Isaiah prophesied of him, “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased.”

3. God’s Remedy for His Hurting People is Jesus!
Let’s make some application of the prophecy about Christ. Let us note first of all that he has the power and authority to fulfil all of the elements of the prophecy because he is God’s Son, who was perfect and who died on the Cross for sinners, and who rose again from the dead and who lives, to comfort and to intercede for his children.

a) Have you suffered some great wrong? until he brings justice to victory;. Any victory scored by this world is a hollow victory indeed for this world is passing away. One day Jesus will right all wrongs. he will bring justice to victory.

b) Have you been hurt by life’s experiences?
By the world and it’s antagonism? Can you give any examples of the way this world causes harm to Christians?
By people claiming to be Christians? But sometimes that hurt comes from people who are within the visible church, and who claim to be Christians. Many Christians have been hurt in this way. Bruised and damaged and criticised and let down, by fellow believers. Modern churches, – perhaps even evangelical churches, with their lists of legalistic rules and their emphasis on works-righteousness can contain Christians who are so critical of each other that they inflict great hurt upon each other.
The Saviour is described as being very tender to those who have been bruised. Psalm 147:3 However you have been wounded, no matter who has been the cause of your hurt, whatever someone has done or said that has caused you pain and grief, bring it to the Lord. The bruised reed, he will not break! 1 Peter 5:7

c) Is your faith weak and struggling? We acknowledge that our faith is so very small, so very weak, so tiny (like a grain of mustard seed) that sometimes it almost seems that it will go out, and the flame will die. We haven’t it that flame ourselves – it is the Lord’s doing, and he who lit the flame will keep it burning right to the very end.

d) Are you still a far way off from God? You are bruised by sin! There is a wonderful promise for you here. Because Jesus died for sinners, he died to take away your sins. Just believe that and accept in your heart that it is so, and then with God’s help you will be able to turn from your sins and trust Christ! And he will never turn you away. He will give you HOPE.

Now, – see that all these Messianic blessings are PERSONAL. They are FOR YOU and for me. He satisfied God’s justice FOR YOU. He cares FOR YOU. He offered his saving merit on the cross FOR YOU. A bruised reed – he will not break. A smouldering flax, he will not put out. AMEN

© Bob McEvoy

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