Photo credit here (along with some other good quotes about arguing)
S (Scripture): Matthew 12:14 The Pharisees went out and met in order to find a way to destroy Jesus.
15 Jesus knew what they intended to do, so he went away from there. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them all. 16 But he ordered them not to spread the word about him, 17 so that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled:
18 Look, my Servant whom I chose,
the one I love, in whom I find great pleasure.
I’ll put my Spirit upon him,
and he’ll announce judgment to the Gentiles.
19 He won’t argue or shout,
and nobody will hear his voice in the streets.
20 He won’t break a bent stalk,
and he won’t snuff out a smoldering wick,
until he makes justice win.
21 And the Gentiles will put their hope in his name.
O (Observation): Matthew is known as the Gospel that was most likely written to a Jewish audience. Matthew makes lots of references to the Hebrew Scriptures, helping to interpret the Scriptures to their rightful understanding.
Jesus was the hope for God’s people spoken of throughout the Scriptures of old, such as in the Isaiah text that Jesus quotes here. Jesus is trying to help the people make sense of why Jesus is going to the streets and not just the synagogues (though he goes there, too…it’s a both / and kinda thing). He is also trying to help them see that he is fulfilling the notion that he is not to be drawing by attention to himself by arguing and shouting in the streets.
In the end, Jesus is hope to the Gentiles. The Jews know their God and have salvation…but the Gentiles have nothing in which to hope. Jesus wants to change that. He believes God wants him to change that. So, Jesus brings healing…a foretaste of the feast to come.
A (Application): What strikes me today is the last couple of sentences I wrote in the section above. Obviously, the Scriptures are the beginning of that inspiration, but I believe those last few sentences I wrote help me to open up the purpose of Jesus’ life and ministry, and help me to know my part.
What is our mission? What was Jesus’ mission?
Jesus was not sent to argue or shout…he healed, he preached, he held dominion over demons…and he brought people to wholeness.
He is making justice win.
Jesus brings hope and inspires us to believe in God. For those who have nothing to believe in, consider Jesus as the way to know God. Consider that the Spirit (that love that exists between Jesus and God) is dwelling within us through faith, too! And with that indwelling Spirit, we, too, can heal and bring about peace and hope.
The insight for me today is that God doesn’t need us to argue about who is right (spiritually, theologically, etc.). We simply need to go and do the right things, bringing healing, hope, and forgiveness into the world.
P (Prayer): God, forgive me when I argue too much with you. Help me to be vulnerable to your gift of transforming love. Amen.