This past Sunday, we heard two stories of Jesus in conflict with religious leaders over what a life of rest should look like. They with their distorted, wrongly motivated understanding of what was lawful, Jesus with his right understanding of the heart of God behind the law. When all they could see was a written code, Jesus cast his gaze upon hungry disciples and a deformed man, and saw bruised reeds and smoldering wicks in need of mercy.
It was what was written of him by the prophet Isaiah, quoted by Matthew immediately after his account of the stories we read in Luke 6:1-11. Here is Matthew 12:15-21:
God’s Chosen Servant
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.” (English Standard Version)
The picture that Matthew, Mark, and Luke paint is beautiful. I invite you to take 42 minutes, and look upon and hear from Jesus, your true, Sabbath, rest.