“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.” – (Matthew 12:18)
Listen to the words quoted from the prophecy of Isaiah 42 and hear them ring in echoes of what God said about Jesus’ at his baptism and transfiguration: your are my Son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased, others need to listen to you. Jesus doesn’t stop ministering under this intense scrutiny and opposition. Instead, he takes his closest followers and teaches them his will, and then targets his miracles of healing with blessing folks because they need to be blessed.
Jesus comes as God’s representative — Immanuel, God with us. The collision is inevitable. You can’t have God’s Messiah, the Son of God, so tender that he “does not breaking a bruised reed” and also have the personal power to face down with the religious power brokers. The reality, however, this is exactly what Jesus will do. He will demonstrate the God-approved truth about faith and he will force the hands of all who are charlatans.
Jesus has the approval of God. He has the leading of the Holy Spirit. He has the needs of the broken on his heart, and he has the nations as his goal. Through kindness, compassion, integrity, and passion, Jesus will accomplish only Immanuel could do.
Prayer : O Father, we live in fear about half the time. We fear aging and illness. We fear the crazy swings in the economy. We fear the growing legal opposition to practicing faith in the market place. We fear that almost no one is going to be standing when the ministry meets the enemy. Except everyone forgets one crucial thing: God is at work here. Jesus is filled with the Holy Spirit here. God approves and finds delight in this ministry. So, Father in heaven, we ask for you to show yourself as holy, embracing and empowering you people, and leading us to more fully reflect your chosen servant and live his life in our world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.