Bruised Reeds and Smoldering Wicks
Sermon shared by David Hicks
Summary: The Lord shows compassion and mercy to those who are broken and bruised by life. We are called to be people of compassion as well.
Audience: General adults
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 pictures. The bruised reeds can depict those who have been beaten up and severely wounded by the effects of sin. They are broken by life, damaged I heart and mind, weak, helpless, hopeless and dead in their transgressions. All of us have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. The effect of our sin is to kill us, and to separate us forever from the life and love of God. We are dead in our transgressions and hopeless to help ourselves. A bruised reed cannot be repaired. It is useless. You can’t make music with it. You can’t build anything with it. You can’t bind it and hope that it will grow solid again. It is here today and gone tomorrow.
This is a picture of each and every one of us apart from Christ. We were lost, broken, and without hope. We could not repair ourselves. We could not save our own souls. We were dead.
The second picture is of a smoldering wick. A smoldering wick is not completely dead, but is dying. Some have seen in this illustration, those who once believed – the righteous who once put their trust in God, but have now lost their first love and have drifted away from the Lord. A smoldering wick no longer produces light. The darkness
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