man and woman on this earth, is fragile. He weeps over them as sheep without a shepherd. He is kind a tender to the woman caught in adultery, or the man tormented by demons. And even with the Pharisees, his stern words are with love and out of a desire that they would open their eyes and see the salvation that has come.

So far in our study of Matthew we have read and learned the following from Jesus:
Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 9:36 “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

We have seen Jesus put His compassion in action. He has healed a leper who asked if Jesus was willing to heal. He has told a centurion soldier that He was willing to come to his Gentile house and heal his servant. He has granted the request of demons to not be tortured, and has freed a demon possessed man. He has raised a paralytic and told him to take heart that his sins were forgiven. He has accepted a tax –collector into the circle of his closest friends and has attended a party in his honor of the town most corrupt people. He has comforted a father by raising his dead daughter back to life. And He has healed a terrified woman who suffered for 12 years and could only muster enough courage to touch the hem of his robe. Over and over Jesus demonstrated that He is a man of compassion, and this same Jesus lives in the hearts of every true believer.

This morning I want to continue our study of Matthew, and I want us to receive encouragement for ourselves and a challenge for how we conduct ourselves in this world. One of the most comforting verses in all of scripture is found in today’s reading. Turn with me to 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.”

Jesus shows compassion for bruised reeds and smoldering wicks.

1. We all fall short. So don’t give up on yourself.

Some have looked at the picture of bruised reeds and smoldering wicks and have found that everyone is included in one of these two