Isaiah 42:1-9 | "1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him;he will bring forth justice to the nations. 2 He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; 3 a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. 4 He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law. 5 Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: 6 "I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, 7 to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. 8 I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. 9 Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth tell you of them.""
DREW: We’ll go onto point three. Let’s look at the way or the manner in which the servant will bring or brings God’s word, His revelation to the nations, and I have three subpoints here. The first subpoint is the servant brings God’s word by His quiet and unaggressive demeanor. Look at verse 2, “The servant Jesus will not cry aloud or lift up his voice or make it heard on the street.” He’s not out to dominate others or to shout over people or to shout people down. Think of this: He’s quiet, He’s unaggressive. Now, you can think of times in which He was a great initiator when He spoke to the crowds or denounced the pharisees. So that kind of boldness and this kind of quietness and unaggressiveness are not mutually exclusive; it’s part of the same servant, the same Lord Jesus Christ. But if you think about Him, He’s the greatest leader whoever lived, the greatest servant whoever lived, He’s God come in the flesh, and it says here, “He’s quiet and unaggressive.”
I want to look at one thing and you don’t have to turn there -- John chapter 7 -- because I want to illustrate this from the New Testament. John chapter 7, verses 1 through 9, “After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him. Now, the Jews’ Feast of Booths was at hand. So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea” -- why -- “that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” They wanted Him to make a big name for himself. Let’s see or hear how Jesus responds: “For not even his brothers believed in him. Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. You go up to the feast. I am not going up to the feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” After saying this, he remained in Galilee.” Jesus wasn’t tempted
by His brothers’ exhortation for Jesus to become prematurely public with His ministry, to show His great works before everybody. Jesus said quietly really, no, no, it’s not my time. You go up. I’m not going up now. I’ll go up when it’s my time. Now, that to me is incredible -- the way He controlled His life and ministry based on the will of the Father and who He understood himself to be.
The second subpoint is the servant is not dismissive of others regardless of how much they are hurting. Verse 3, “A bruised reed he will not break.” He has the power to mend a broken reed. Now, that’s someone who has been internally damaged and we can find this everywhere in the Gospels. I just want to draw your attention to one place in the Gospel of Mark chapter 3, 1 through 6; there was a man with a withered hand. Listen to this: “And Jesus entered the synagogue and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.” Now, this is a man whose hand was ggwithered, incredibly deformed, useless. It was as if he had one arm and one hand. He’s a bruised reed. So what does Jesus do in this case? He brings healing to the man. That was interesting the way the man responded. If you have a withered hand and Jesus says, “Stretch out your hand,” you can’t do anything, but with that response of doing whatever he did there was healing. He may not have felt equipped to be able to stretch out a hand that was withered, but somehow he wanted to do what Jesus wanted him to do and in responding he was healed. Jesus didn’t break this bruised reed. The pharisees were being very insensitive. They had their law, don’t break the Sabbath, no healing on the Sabbath, and Jesus was angry because mercy is greater than the Sabbath command. Jesus said, The Sabbath -- give life on the Sabbath, so I’m going to give life to this man.
Let’s look at the third subpoint. The servant is not dismissive of others, however weak and worn out they may be. This is good news for us. Verse 3, “A faintly burning wick he will not quench.” Now, think about that. You’ve probably seen a candle; right? It’s about to burn out, all the wax is melted. It’s faintly burning, it’s barely there, it’s this flickering flame. What do you want to do? You want to blow the thing out and maybe either light it again or get a fresh candle. But when you think about Jesus here, people are weak and worn out and He’s not dismissive. He can fan into a flame a faintly burning wick.
I want to draw your attention to a passage in Mark chapter 2. I’m not going to read it, because it’s too long. It’s of the paralytic. The paralytic, obviously, was a man who couldn’t walk. He was carried on a mat or a bed by a few of his friends and what they did is they opened up a hole in the roof of a house in which Jesus was meeting with others and they lowered the man, the paralytic, down. So this man was a faintly burning wick, he couldn’t do anything for himself at all. Well, Jesus saw the faith of the men who carried the paralytic and He forgave the man’s sins. He said, “Rise up, get up and walk.” The man rose up, picked up his mat, and walked out. Now, the paralytic was carrying his mat and he walked out. So he started out this faintly burning wick. He can’t do anything for himself. He’s dependent on these four men. And how did he leave? Jesus fanned this man into flame. He took his weakness and rather than saying, you’re so weak, you’re so worn out, you can’t do anything for yourself, He healed the man and said, now that I’ve healed you, you take up that mat yourself. You don’t need four people to carry you on that mat. You can get up, your legs are strong enough, carry that mat, and the man walked out. Now, what does this do? It gives us hope in Jesus for everyone.
Now, Jesus is not going to heal everybody’s physical illness or malady in this way, not in this life. If we believe in Him, which we do, in the next life we’ll be given bodies incorruptible. I mean, never will they fade away and get sick and decay and deteriorate again. But oftentimes in the scripture this is a picture of spiritual healing, which in the end in glory will lead to physical wholeness and well-being when we’re given bodies well fitted and suited for eternity. Also, think about Jesus in a spiritual sense here. Everybody in the world outside of Jesus -- the Bible tells us in Ephesians chapter 2 -- is dead spiritually because of their sins. Dead spiritually. They can’t do anything for themselves with respect to affecting a right relationship with God. They are worse than a paralytic in that sense, they are spiritually dead, but by grace through faith what does Jesus do? He enables people to believe, and all who believe are healed spiritually. Their sins are forgiven. In Jesus, they’re reconciled to God. As Paul says in Second Corinthians 4, “Though outwardly we’re wasting away, inwardly we’re being renewed day by day. For a momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.” Okay. So Jesus heals the weak and the wounded spiritually as well, as we see here.
So I have a couple of questions here. How does Jesus’s leadership differ from the world’s view of leadership?
DON: Well, if we look at the recently appointed or elected congress people, they’re immediately out there making names for themselves. They’re running their mouths about all different kinds of things and you see them on the news or read about them in the newspaper or on the internet, so that’s totally different from Jesus’s response to His involvement or His timing to be in the ministry. When you were talking earlier, I immediately thought back to last week’s Bible study about when Mary told Jesus, you know, make some wine, we need wine for the wedding, and Jesus said, it’s not my time. He wanted to be low key. It just wasn’t the right time and He knew He was being led by His Father as to what that time would be, so -- and then you just read the other passage about Him telling His brothers, no, I’m not going to the banquet. So this message of Isaiah, absolutely prophetic.
DREW: That’s right. Good. Anyone else?
CAROLYN: The world wants everything right now and sometimes we have to be patient and see where the Lord is leading and what His will is, because we’re just that kind of a culture that we live in. Everything right now and when we want it.
DREW: And that is challenging. I have found myself doing the same thing at times as a believer, because we do live in a culture and to some degree it has had its influence on us and we think, well, everything around me is telling me that I should have certain things yesterday or today or just tomorrow rather than coming back to scripture and seeing some incredible ways in which the Lord met needs, but did so a couple, two or three decades after people prayed for them. That’s a great point.
NANCY: I think there’s also a message in this about patience, because a lot of times when we’re faced with something we, in our humanness, I think want to take the bull by the horns and blurt out and kind of make a name for ourselves because we feel we are right about something, but it’s important to step back and look at the whole situation and perhaps have the patience to wait until a later time where things may play out a little bit differently. So to me, there’s a message about patience in this as well and that it may be, you know, think about, you know, how does God want me to react to this? Because if I react the way I want to react immediately, sometimes it’s going to be different than how God would have me wait and do something different.
CAMILLE: Also, with what Nancy said, today none of our politicians are thinking about how would God handle this, what does Jesus want us to do for the people of the world; it’s what we can do and what we want, so now power has taken over. There’s no patience at all, so we don’t have patience. We want it now, we want it our way. So we have totally taken God out of the picture as far as what is needed for the people in the world today.
DREW: Great. One more question here: Jesus wasn’t dismissive of people who were broken regardless of how much they were hurting, regardless of how weak and worn out they were. Think of people in our culture who are hurting, who are weak, who are worn out, and how are they treated?
DON: They’re dismissed, that’s the way they’re treated, and I’m guilty of it at times. I find myself just dismissing people.
DREW: Yeah, that’s a good point. We have to be careful, because we all face the temptation of assessing or making judgements about people based on appearance. I heard one time, 20 years ago or more, you can always tell where a society is morally and ethically as a culture by how it treats people at both ends of the age gap or the age range. Think of the unborn baby and think of the elderly in this country and it’s horrendous. The exact opposite of Jesus, “A bruised reed he will not break.” The weakest among us is the unborn child. Weak and worn out, think of anybody with a serious injury, think of the paralytic, anybody today who has a body like the paralytic.
NANCY: No. I agree and, you know, I was thinking kind of similarly to what Don said: Weak people are often marginalized in our society. They are just pushed to the side, because we’re kind of -- you know, as we grow I think a lot of times we’re taught survival of the fittest and that, spirit is perhaps not the way God wants us to act and certainly Jesus did not act that way. So if we are going to be true followers of Jesus, we need to examine that against the way our culture has taught us.
PENNY: Just lastly and then we’ll go into your next point, but I just think it’s fascinating when you really think about what Jesus did in those instances and how He took something that was powerless -- they had no power left in themselves to do those things -- and He empowered them and gave them back their life and then that empowerment they went on and took to live their life and to effect other people. Now, His name spread as a result of the miracles and what happened, because it was truly amazing what was going on as the people witnessed these miracles of healing but think about the individual and what they must have experienced with that power of God going into their body. That is amazing. That’s remarkable. I don’t think we think about that enough. That same power in the Holy Spirit lives in us. And not that we’re going to go around healing people as you said, but I think we have a lot more power in the positiveness and encouragement we can give others and believing in them and a lot of times it’s supernatural and we don’t even recognize what Jesus is doing through us.