This is the third day in a row we have considered this same passage, and today we’re adding verses 2-4 of Isaiah’s prophecy. We’ve seen Messiah will be the Chosen Servant of Jehovah who will be filled with the Holy Spirit to the delight of His Father. Now, we learn the Promised One will be humble and full of compassion.
Humble because the Good Shepherd will set aside His divine privilege to be born as a sheep. Even though He existed from all eternity with the Father, He will humble Himself as the Servant of Jehovah. And He’s not going to hire some slick marketing team to promote His brand, nor will He arrogantly be shouting “Here I am, look at Me!” in the streets!
And if Jesus was full of anything, it was compassion. In Matthew 12, we see Jesus, the “Lord of the Sabbath,” healing a man with a withered hand. Jesus then quotes “I desire compassion rather than sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6) to the hard-hearted mob accusing Him of breaking the Law rather than rejoicing that someone has been restored and made whole. They had no compassion.
But in the eyes of Jesus, this man was a “bent reed” about to break off – “a faintly burning wick” whose ember was about to go out. So, to make certain we do not miss the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, Matthew quotes Isaiah 42:1-4 in Matthew 12:17-21.
We are all bent reeds and dimly burning wicks, but because of the compassion Jesus showed each one of us by gentle blowing on the dying embers of our lives, we are glowing and growing in Him.
All our hope must be in Jesus alone – the One who will persevere to the end – the One who will not lose heart or be discouraged until He faithfully brings forth justice.