Summary: A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench...
Bruised but not Broken
Matthew 12:10-21 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. 11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it,
and lift it out? 12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. 13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.
15 But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; 16 And charged them that they should not make him known: 17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias
the prophet, saying, 18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him,
and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall
any man hear his voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed shall he not break,
and smoking flax shall he not quench,
till he send forth judgment unto victory.
21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.
a [A bruised reed shall he not break] A reference to a musical instrument made of a reed
that was easily broken and crushed
under the feet. The shepherd would often repair the pipe instead of making another one,
so he would not crush it under his feet
until all hope of repairing it was past.
b [smoking flax shall he not quench,
till he send forth judgment unto victory]
A reference to a wick floating in an open lamp. When the oil is used up, the wick smokes
and is of no further value unless the oil
is replenished. So here, Christ will not use His power to destroy His enemies until it becomes necessary. He will not fail nor be discouraged until He fulfills His mission.
Isaiah 42:1-7 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth;
I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. 2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard
in the street. 3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench:
he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged,
till he have set judgment in the earth:
and the isles shall wait for his law.
5 Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it,
and spirit to them that walk therein:
6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee,
and give thee for a covenant of the people,
for a light of the Gentiles; 7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness, out of the prison.