SUBJ: A description of Christ and His
merciful approach to those He would save as contrasted with the harsh
methods of the world.
AIM: That we should so see Him and
seek to imitate Him in our approach to presenting the Gospel.
INTR: The objection to Christ by the
Pharisees is well known. Not so much attention is given to our Lord's
reaction to it. Especially, this is so as we consider that He often
withdrew from them.
He did not come to confront earthly religion so
much as He came to engender trust in Himself as the provider of this so
After all, it is the goodness of God that leads to
repentance (Rom. 2:4)
It is Christ Who is popular with the unseemly
multitude and for that established religion hates Him because He takes
away their power to enslave,
While Christ, God's elect (Isaiah 42), shall in time take down the
kingdoms of this world, in the meantime He graciously delivers "bruised
reeds and smoking flax" from the power of these kingdoms and provides in
them the ability to stand in eternal light and life.
discretionary withdrawal -- Christ neither submits to them nor
challenges here (vv. 14-16)
It was time of great hostility. The
Pharisees were angered more by His popularity than by the miracles.
His perception of human thoughts (S.A. John 6) revealed their intent to
It was not His time to be made such a spectacle and so He
withdraws from what is certain to be a public display of personal
deliverance - He would in time be delivered up.
But, what of Isaiah
42:13 The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy
like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his
enemies. - The time will come when this will be seen.
His was not to
be a ministry of confrontation. His Gospel would neither respond to
outward attack nor would it use carnal means.
They had heard the
Gospel and hated Him for it.
We note that His withdrawal from the
Pharisees did not discourage the multitude.
While we are taught to
preach the Gospel from the housetops, they were told not to make Him
That is, to reveal Him at this time to those who would kill
Or perhaps these words were to demon spirits who identified Him
(see Mark 3:11-12 11 And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down
before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. 12 And he
straitly charged them that they should not make him known.
prophecy confirmed - Identified in reference to divine purpose for the
Gentiles. (vv. 17-18)
This prophecy is from Isaiah 42. Consider two
characterizations of Him here:
"Behold My Servant" - Chosen
arbitrarily rather because of qualification
Because of His dedication
to purpose and His obedience as servant
is well pleased" - Consider the eternal Son and the love of the Father.
And, that He is man, yet the express image of the Father. Cf. Genesis
1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he
him; male and female created he them.
The Spirit upon Him
preach, to do miracles, to manifest grace, to display Gifts to be given
For the bringing of judgment (the Gospel) to the Gentiles.
Herein is a picture of submission and sovereignty
A Name to be
trusted (vv. 19-21)
He would not complain or seek after applause in
the manner of men. We are reminded of His entry into Jerusalem in a very
inauspicious manner and yet the crowd followed.
He did not come as a
Bruised reed not broken - a picture of brokenness and
defeat. It had obviously been injured beyond hope (CHS saw this as a
picture of a backslider?)
Smoking flax - as in a lamp ready to go
out. This is indicative of human inability to sustain. Man seems to
flourish for a time but soon, depravity is found out. (CHS saw this as a