Matthew in seeing how Jesus responded to those who were against him looks at the Suffering Servant of Isaiah (40-52).
“This was to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory. In his name the nations will put their hope.” (Matthew 12 v 17-21)
Know who you belong to. This life will do its best to remind you that you are not good enough. Some may wake battling destructive thoughts. With a reminder to the baptism of Jesus Matthew points out that Jesus knew who he belonged to. Perhaps you need to take a few steps back in your memory also in order to receive the confirmation that you belong to God? (Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him)
Know when to speak up and when to be silent. Or world is broken. Wherever we look, Israel and Gaza; the persecuted in Northern Africa; the slaves and dehumanised for their race and gender; the nations are broken. Individuals are broken also from disease and bereavement; mental illness and financial ruin. Speak up for the justice of others but keep quiet when it is for yourself.
(he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets.)
Know who to spend your time with. Isaiah’s Suffering Servant is “a shepherd: he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” (40:11) Far from any form of abuse, in fact this shepherd goes looking for those who have been misused and are weary from the ‘dictators’. It is these people that we will want to spend time with if we want to know Jesus.
(A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out,)
Know the power of that name. It is not just a belief in the name but it is to put your whole hope in the identity of the Servant and the mission of Jesus. May the people we encounter find Christ shining through us!
(In his name the nations will put their hope)