Reflective Bible Study.
Focus Passage: Matthew 12:9-21 (GNT)The more I read the gospel of Matthew looking for insights into Jesus’ life, the more I am amazed at the prophecies that Matthew draws our attention to from the Old Testament about the coming Messiah. At the close of this passage, after Jesus had thoroughly angered the religious leaders at the synagogue He was visiting that Sabbath and then left the area because they were plotting against Him, Matthew breaks from the narrative for a moment to share a prophecy that Isaiah included about what Jesus would be like: “Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, the one I love, and with whom I am pleased. I will send my Spirit upon him, and he will announce my judgment to the nations. He will not argue or shout, or make loud speeches in the streets. He will not break off a bent reed, nor put out a flickering lamp. He will persist until he causes justice to triumph, and on him all peoples will put their hope.” (v. 18-21 [Isaiah 42:1-3]) In this prophecy about God’s “Chosen Servant”, we learn that He will have God’s Spirit on Him, He will announce God’s judgment on the nations, He won’t argue, shout, or be a street preacher. These things describe Jesus’ public ministry. Isaiah continues God’s message by saying that the coming Messiah “will not break off a bent reed, nor put out a flickering lamp”. These two ideas seem out of place a little in that I wonder if Isaiah/God is being literal with these two descriptions, or if they are symbolic. As symbols, the first statement about not breaking a bent reed could mean that Jesus would not hurt someone who is already hurting. Jesus came to heal people, so as a symbol, Jesus would heal the bent read, not break it off. As a symbol, the second statement might refer to Jesus not extinguishing the faith of someone whose faith is already wavering. As I have read the gospels, Jesus pushed against the religious leaders almost exclusively. While He did challenge the crowds on occasion, often times causing the crowds to disperse, I never see an example of Jesus not helping to strengthen the faith of someone whose faith was about gone. Instead, Jesus seemed to always help strengthen the faith in hearts that needed strength. Isaiah/God concludes by telling us that Jesus would persist until justice triumphs, and that all people would put their hope in Him. This brings me to the big thing I see in this passage and prophecy: Jesus is the place where we must place our faith, our hope, and our trust. God intends for us to lean on Jesus for our salvation. When justice triumphs, we look to what Jesus accomplished on the cross for us, so that we don’t have to face the punishment for our sin filled past. This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus “Reflective Bible Study” package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today! Read this article on the web on it's official page: Justice Is Triumphant: Matthew 12:9-21