"Jesus' Authority: Servanthood"- Matthew 12:15-21

Personal God-I believe God is involved in and cares about my daily life.

Psalm 121:1-6 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.  Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.  The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

Scripture: Matthew 12:15-21

 Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all and ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.  He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; 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.”



The brief passage we are going to look at Sunday is a refreshing breather from the rest of the difficulty found in chapters 11 and 12—which record the first major rejection of Christ, led by the Pharisees.  After Jesus put them to shame by showing that their Sabbath traditions were hardhearted, illogical, and unscriptural, “the Pharisees went out, and counseled together against Him, as to how they might destroy Him” (12:14).  He exposed the evil of the Pharisees in doing that, and they hated Him for it. From that time on, they plotted how to kill Him.

Think of it. God’s specialists in human salvation counseling with Caesar’s specialists in human slaughter. People who were supposed to be agents of love joining forces with agents of hate.

Message of the Passage:

“In this passage Jesus' character comes through clearly.  Matthew is relating to us something of Jesus' heart here.  He really began that in Matthew chapter 12, verse one, when He told you the story of the meeting between the Pharisees and the Lord Jesus.  He's showing you what Jesus is like.  He's revealing Jesus' character to you and He's providing, for contrast, the religious leaders of Jesus' day.  Now remember, the Pharisees have had a bad name for about 2000 years amongst Christians, but these were very well-respected religious leaders.  These were lay people, part of a movement designed to revitalize religion in Israel.  They were highly exalted in the eyes of the people, and yet Matthew contrasts their hearts and their desire to destroy the Lord Jesus Christ to the Lord Jesus' compassion for the sick, for the downcast, for the marginal, and so we see Christ's character in stark contrast to the Pharisees.  Matthew Henry says, ‘As in the midst of Christ's greatest humiliations, there were proofs of His dignity.  So in the midst of His greatest honors, He gave proofs of His humility.’ And so even as He does these works - these miracles - and speaks words of grace, He had opportunity here in this passage to show His humility.  And that's precisely what Matthew points us to.” 

In calling attention to Jesus' character, Matthew is not simply wanting us to stand back and admire Him; Matthew wants us to believe Him.  Matthew is calling us to commitment to Christ.  He is calling us to trust in Him, to love Him, to believe Him, to worship Him, to follow Him. 

Personal Reflection: Use the following questions to help review the application of God’s Word to our Head (What does God want me to know?), to our Heart (What does God want me to desire/value?), and to our Hands (What does God want me to do?)

  • Looking back at the message, is there anything that especially resonated or challenged you?

  • From this passage, what aspect of Jesus’ character and work is particularly meaningful and encouraging to you?

  • How would your daily living change if you were responding to the situations and relationships of life from a heart filled with hope in the Lord?

  • What was Jesus response to the plots against His life?

  • What does Matthew 12:18-21 which is taken from Isaiah 42:1-4 tell us about the Messiah? Did Jesus fulfill all of the prophecies recorded in this section of scripture?

  • How many prophecies of the Messiah were fulfilled in Jesus?

“More than 300 Messianic prophecies like this were made in the Old Testament and then fulfilled through Jesus' life, death and resurrection. The chances of one person fulfilling a mere eight of these prophecies are one-in-100,000,000,000,000,000. For one person to fulfill 48 of these prophecies, the number becomes staggering - one chance in 10-to-the-157th power. Add to that the 250 other prophecies, and it becomes impossible for any other person except Jesus to ever fit that particular sequence of time and events.” (Evidence that Demands a Verdict - Josh McDowell. P. 157)

  • If Jesus had ministered during 2018 instead of in Bible times, could He have accomplished the same things by being meek and humble as He is described in these passages?

  • Since we are called to follow the example of Jesus, how do we compare to this example of Christ?