From today’s reading of Matthew 12:1-21, Mark 3, and Luke 6
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.”
– Matthew 12:15-21
Matthew here quotes from Isaiah’s great vision of Jesus in Isaiah 42:1-4. Isaiah’s prophetic utterance follows and contrasts with the Lord’s words about the futility of idols in the previous chapter which ends like this:
Behold, they are all a delusion;
their works are nothing;
their metal images are empty wind. – Isaiah 41:29
Is this not a message for the ages?
Behold, they [idols] are all a delusion, their works are nothing; their metal images are empty wind.
Then . .
Behold my Servant!
Our idols are indeed an illusion, but most of us spend far too much of our time chasing after them, these shiny, metallic distractions of empty wind.
Why? We have a designed-in longing for Jesus, but fall easily for the counterfeit, many times because the counterfeit is easy, compared to what we perceive is the cost of following the Lord. But Isaiah cries out here, behold Jesus!
He is the only one who brings the justice that we desperately long for. Idols offer distractions and false hopes. Jesus has promised, and will in truth, make everything new and make everything right.
Our world is full of the noise of our idols. Behold Jesus; he is not brash, doesn’t raise a ruckus and a spectacle in the streets, doesn’t shout-down his opponents. Yet he is the Final Word, and will one day silence the noise.
From the heavens you uttered judgment;
the earth feared and was still,
when God arose to establish judgment,
to save all the humble of the earth. Selah – Psalm 76:8-9
And if you are broken, wounded and burned out; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench. He is the great Healer, and he will heal you.
“Many followed him, and he healed them all”
Behold him, and hope in his name.