For the next few weeks I want to look at few of the passages that some of you shared two weeks ago to encourage our friend. The first is from Isaiah 42, especially verse 3:
1“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will bring justice to the nations.
2He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.
3A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
These words, written by Isaiah hundreds of years before Jesus, refer to the suffering servant who will come as the Jewish messiah. The language of verse 3 is intriguing and surprising. The promised king will, in fact, bring victory, but not at all as expected. He is not so much strong in battle as he is tender and gentle with the weak. “A bruised reed he will not break.”
In the biblical world, though they were fragile, reeds were used for many purposes, but a bruised reed was of a little value. Once they were banged up, they were usually cast aside. At times in our lives, some of us may feel like damaged reeds and smoldering wicks, and wonder if we have any real value. We wonder if our failures, our physical weakness or our emotional fragility have rendered us useless.
But the King who is promised in Isaiah 42 and who has come according to Matthew 12, does not cast us aside. The more we are aware of our need, the more we find strength in his kindness and in his gentle touch. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom…”