Many crowds followed Jesus, and he cured all of them, and he ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
'Here is 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 break a bruised reed
or quench a smouldering wick
until he brings justice to victory.
And in his name the Gentiles will hope.'
(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)
This quotation from Isaiah was originally taken to refer to Cyrus the Persian King who defeated the Babylonians and helped those Jews who had been captives to return and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. He is referred to as carrying out God's work a number of times in the Hebrew scriptures (our Old Testament). However, Christians believe that this prophecy is completed in the work of Jesus.
In this passage from Matthew's Gospel Jesus is concerned that the time for a head-on clash with the authorities has not yet come. There had been many false Messiahs and he knew how easy it was to inflame the people, and for the moment he needed to calm them down.
But what kind of potential Messiah would Jesus be? According to Isaiah he would bring justice to men and women, to Jews and to Gentiles. He would not force people to follow him by shouting louder than his opponents like some political candidate - he would gently offer us a new life. If our faith is dim (and we are like a bruised reed or a smouldering wick), he will not break us but will encourage our faith to slowly grow,. When we feel like this perhaps we could start by asking Jesus for help.
we thank You that You sent Your Son
to rescue us;
that He came to offer us salvation;
and to encourage us when our faith wavers.
May we continue to grow closer to You,
whatever the challenges that lie ahead of us.
Below is a link to a definition of faith made by Billy Graham, the Evangelist.: