Faith of Jesus Daily Devotional - Day 48
Matthew:12:15-21 God 's Chosen Servant
Previous Context: devotion:Matthew:12:1-14 Lord of the Sabbath
What is God doing?
"But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence"
The Pharisees have gathered together in council to decide how to destroy Jesus. Jesus then has a choice either to withdraw or to stand and fight. Not only are there legions of angels at His charge there are the multitudes on His side (at least so one would think). The prophecies are fairly clear however, especially this prophecy from kjv@Isaiah:42:1-4.
"That it might be fulfilled which was spoken"
Matthew has made it a point to tie in prophecy at every chance. In a sense he is building a legal case against the Jewish unbelievers of that time knowing what was commonly known by them about the Messiah. They cannot say that they did not know these scriptures. He is also drawing upon historical facts that many would be fully aware of; they could not say that they weren't aware that there had been a council or that multitudes were following Jesus and that He was healing them all. By the time Matthews gospel had been released much discussion would have occurred as to the facts and if not true would have been met with stiff public opposition to the accounts as detailed. There is not evidence of these facts being deputed on their own validity only as to their objective meaning.
So the prophetic directive is clear, the chosen servant Jesus on whom the Holy Spirit has been placed shall not strive, shall not raise His voice, shall not attempt to break nor even quench. If you think about just that it says a whole lot about what God the Father is wanting to do, how HE is going about to establish it and a whole lot about what all has been given Jesus to obey. It has very little resemblance to what we would of our own mind expect.
"Till he send forth judgment unto victory"
Judgment is not just about stopping and punishing the opposition. It is not just about the great show of strength. Judgment is also about the discipline to not over react, to not loose focus on the objective, to not play the game on similar petty terms, even though you have the power and right to do so. We've spoken before of the false accusation that the Old Testament God is an angry God when in fact HE has been most patient and longsuffering towards the people given what the people are testing HIM with. This is not a new God or an improved softer version being presented in the New Testament, this is an unchangeable God once again doing what is mercifully and righteously the best.
What is man doing?
"Great multitudes followed him"
The natural tendency is to follow after the strongest leader, the one that imposes his will and collects the largest confederacy. Tyrants seem to have a larger base of support than the meek and soft spoken. Certainly the works of healing have something to do with the present support of Jesus, but where is that support months from now when Jesus is falsely/illegally tried before the Sanhedrin then Pilot/Herod? It may not show at the present moment, but the support of those following is corrupted and very short sighted.
"And charged them that they should not make him known"
Jesus has instructed this before and will instruct it again. It seems always to have the reverse effect though. It has to be said by Jesus regardless. Now it is their decision whether to comply with that or not. Even for those that intend to keep this directive there are a myriad of ways that the heart can find to corrupt that obedience.
What does this passage tell us about the about the commands and faith of Jesus that saints are to keep/guard?
"And in his name shall the Gentiles trust"
Since the time of the early church when the majority of saints were of Jewish upbringing the church has largely become filled with Gentiles; yet another part of the scriptures that the Jews when tried will have to give an account for. The Gentile believers should not look down on these Jews however, often it is the brutal actions of these Gentiles against these Jews that drive them off, actions for which many of them will be judged. That is not the entire story though it must be said. Each man is responsible for his own relationship with the LORD regardless of what is said by others and what actions are taken. The LORD said to expect there to be wrongful actions, expect there to be hurtful sayings, expect there to be ugly treatment. Why then expect anything different?
What is most important for either of us to see is the conduct of Jesus as expressed here, as directed by Holy Scripture. A number of things He could have done, one thing did He do. Ah, if only we would perform such steady minded judgment!
Next: devotion:Matthew:12:22-37 Jesus and Beelzebub