Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

The Gentleness of Jesus

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

One of the most wonderful things we’re told about Jesus is recorded in Matthew 12:20–21 where it says,

‘A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. In his name the nations will put their hope’. (Matthew 12:20–21)

The picture being painted for us here is that of the gentleness of Jesus.

He is so tender and gentle that when he finds a “bruised reed”, instead of snapping it off carelessly and thoughtlessly, he binds it up in the hope that it will rejuvenate itself.

If the wick of a candle has been reduced to a smouldering ember, instead of snuffing it out and extinguishing it completely, Jesus fans it back into flame.

He will act this way, we are told, “till he leads justice to victory. In his name the nations will put their hope”.

These words are drawn from one of the “Suffering Servant” passages of Isaiah,

‘Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope’. (Isaiah 42:1–4)

The Jews fully expected a Messiah who would come with decisive and irresistible force and bring justice to Israel. It seems that not many, if any, actually linked the coming King with Isaiah’s promised servant.

That is why the notion of a kingdom that dawned in the context of meekness, tenderness and gentleness, coupled with restraint in the matter of climactic judgment, was so unexpected.

Yet here was Jesus practising what He preached as He exercised compassion in healing the sick among the people (Matthew 12:15-16), and as He did so He stands in stark contrast to the harshness of His opponents.

While Jesus is healing someone on the Sabbath, his opponents try to kill him for ostensibly breaking the Sabbath (V.9-14); while Jesus casts out demons from a poor victim, his opponents are ready to write Jesus off as the devil himself (V.22-28)

In addition to what learn about Jesus, we can also learn something about the way we should be as Christians.

We are not to be hard and harsh, condescending and ruthless, nor someone that rants and manipulates, like his detractors were.

We are called to become like the Lord Jesus, who tells his followers,

‘…learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart...’ (Matthew 11:29)

If we too are gentle and humble in heart like our Lord and Master we are given a wonderful promise,

‘…you will find rest for your souls’ (V.29)

Have a gentle week,

Pastor Barry

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