Summary: Jesus wants to do for us and is limited if we block Him.
What Jesus Refuses to Do Matthew 12:14-21
Then the Pharisees called a meeting and discussed plans for killing Jesus. 15 But Jesus knew what they were planning. He left that area, and many people followed him. He healed all the sick among them, 16 but he warned them not to say who he was. 17 This fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah concerning him: 18 "Look at my Servant, Whom I have chosen. He is my Beloved, And I am very pleased with him. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. 19 He will not fight or shout; He will not raise his voice in public. 20 He will not crush those who are weak or quench the smallest hope; he brings full justice with his final victory. 21 And his name will be the hope of all the world."
Did you know there is a place in the Alpine Mountains in Switzerland where you can throw a different piece of wood in different directions and they will end up in a different Sea? One direction will take it down the Danube River and into the Black sea. Thrown in another direction and it will float down the Rhine River into the North Sea. Still thrown another and it will land in the Rhone River and end in Mediterranean Sea. Three pieces of wood thrown from the same place but ending up in different Seas several miles apart. Their destination is determined by the way they were thrown. With our lives what will be tomorrow will be determined by the choices we make today. In the life of Jesus, we find this true also. As He made choices day by day, it developed the character he would become. He chose to do some things and refused to do others. I am glad that in the Gospels it tells of thing He did willingly. He willingly raised Lazarus from the dead. He willingly healed a man with a withered hand. He willingly stopped a funeral by raising a widow’s son. We want to key in on some things that the verses we read today tell us Jesus refuses to do.
1. Jesus refuses to be impatient with sinners.
Martin Luther said, “If I were God and the world had treated me as it has treated Him. I would have kicked the wretched thing to pieces long ago.”
This is one of the best explanations of why God allows pain and suffering that I have seen. It’s an explanation other people will understand. A man went to a barbershop to have his haircut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about all kinds of things. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: "I don’t believe that God exists." "Why do you say that?" asked the customer. "Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn’t exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can’t imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things." The customer thought for a moment, but didn’t respond because he didn’t want to start an argument! The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt. The customer turned back and entered the barbershop again and he said to the barber: "You know what? Barbers do not exist." "How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber. "I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!" "No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don’t exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside." "Ah, but barbers DO exist! What happens is people do not come to me." "Exactly!" affirmed the customer. "That’s the point! God, too, DOES exist! What happens, is, people don’t go to Him and do not look for Him. That’s why there’s so much pain and suffering in the world."
Joe Wright’s Prayer: An interesting prayer was given recently in Kansas at the opening session of their Senate in 2000. I think that this prayer reveals our hypocrisy as a nation. When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate with a prayer, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard: "Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness and to seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, "Woe to those who call evil good," but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.-We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your word and call it "pluralism."-We have worshipped other gods and called it "multiculturalism."-We have endorsed perversion and called it "alternative lifestyle."-We have exploited the poor and called it "the lottery."-We have rewarded laziness and called it "welfare."-We have killed our unborn and called it "choice."-We have shot abortionists and called it "justifiable."-We have neglected to discipline our children and called it "building self-esteem."-We have abused power and called it "politics."-We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it "ambition."-We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it "enlightenment." Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to the center of Your will, to open our hearts and ask it in the name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen."