Scripture: Matthew 12:14-21
14 But the Pharisees went out and took counsel against him, how to destroy him. 15 Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all, 16 and ordered them not to make him known. 17 This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: 18 "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 shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles. 19 He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will any one hear his voice in the streets; 20 he will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick, till he brings justice to victory; 21 and in his name will the Gentiles hope."Meditation: In everyone's life there are key moments or turning points on which the whole of one's life hinges. The mounting confrontation between the Pharisees and Jesus was such a decisive event and crisis. The religious leaders became intolerant because of their prejudice. Nothing that Jesus would do or say from this point on would be right in their eyes. They conspired, not simply to oppose Jesus but to eliminate him. Jesus met this defiance with courage and determination. He used the crisis to teach his disciples an important lesson for the kingdom way to success and victory. The only way to glory in God's kingdom is through the cross. Jesus quoted from the "Suffering Servant" prophecies of Isaiah to explain how he would accomplish his mission, not through crushing power but through sacrificial service. In place of a throne he would mount the cross and wear a crown of thorns. There is no greater proof of God's love for us. Jesus died not only for Jew but Gentile as well. Isaiah had prophesied centuries before, that the Messiah would bring justice to the Gentiles. To the Greek mind, justice involved giving to God and to men that which is their due. Jesus taught his disciples how to behave towards God and towards others. Jesus brings justice tempered with divine love. He does not bruise the weak or treat them with contempt, but rather shows understanding. He does not discourage the fainthearted but gives encouragement and hope. No matter how hopeless or weak one may be, the Lord Jesus is ever ready to bring his healing love, hope, and encouragement. Do you hope in God and trust in his mercy and justice?
"Lord, strengthen me in your love and hope. Make me
an instrument of your hope that I may encourage those who have no hope."