Matthew 12:20-21 a bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory;
and in his name the Gentiles will hope.” (ESV)
Matthew provides this quotation from Isaiah as an apologetic/explanation of Jesus healing of many who followed Him (v. 15). He is portrayed as kind and tender with those who are broken, weak, on the edge of breaking down, losing it , giving up. How contrary to the methodology of the Pharisees who use the law to tear people down, attempt to motivate by guilt, who use the letter of the law to make themselves appear righteous before men.
These are the kind of people we are called to be if indeed we are members of this new family of God (v. 49-50). Kindness, compassion, tenderness, patience with the weak, broken, discouraged – these are the earmarks of us who live as citizens of the kingdom of God. The tree is known by its fruit (v. 33). The true test of who are the genuine disciples of Jesus is that they love each other. And this is missional, for those outside the body will see this love and know that we are the real deal (Jn. 13:34-35).
God let the words of my mouth reveal a heart in me that is filled with goodness (v. 34f.), goodness from God. Holy Spirit do a work of transformation in my soul that I might be the real deal. Lord Jesus, show me where I fall short – give me wisdom, an action plan for following You. Holy Spirit convict my heart. Grant me the power (dunamis) and authority (exousia) to live this out – for the glory of God and goodness and blessing to all people I encounter.
In Jesus’ name – Amen,