September 14: The Servant of God (Matthew 12:15-21)
Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all and ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
“Behold, 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 quarrel or cry aloud,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets;
a bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory;
and in his name the Gentiles will hope.” (ESV)
Matthew’s intent in writing this gospel is for us to marvel at the glory of Jesus and follow him with our lives, even in the midst of conflict and struggle. Matthew has revealed Jesus to be the divine king calling people into his kingdom by means of preaching and teaching. But the people’s response was far less enthusiastic than we might expect (chs. 11-12). He was met with confusion from John the Baptist. The general population was quite unresponsive. And he faces straight-up conflict with the religious leadership who were conspiring how they might destroy him. Yet in contrast to the shriveled hearts of the Pharisees, Jesus’ heart was intensely compassionate as he cared for the weak and troubled in the midst of conflict. Matthew, quoting Isaiah 42, shows how Jesus is God's promised servant—unique in character and commission—who will bring justice for the nations. In this passage we are given a glorious glimpse into the unique but tender ministry of Jesus. Consider the beauty of Jesus in this passage and let it lead you to worship and joy in following him.
Review and Apply
- In what ways does Jesus' ministry fulfill Isaiah 42?
- How ought Jesus' method of ministry in the midst of conflict guide you in your own times of conflict?
- Why is the character of Jesus expressed in vs. 18 significant to his saving work on the cross?
- How does it encourage you in your salvation? How can you encourage others in their walk of faith?
- What does it mean that he proclaimed justice? How can we do the same?
- How does his ministry method in vs. 19 correspond with 11:25-30?
- How does his victory encourage us in missional living?