Saturday in the Fourth Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 12:15-21; Mark 3:7-12

The One Who Conquers Through Humility

Here is a brief summary of the ministry that Jesus performed in Galilee over the several months he was there.  After the Pharisees gathered to conspire against him, Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea; however, great crowds followed him.  Mark gives their locations from: Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond (east of) the Jordan, and Tyre and Sidon – in a word, from all over.  They were literally thronging him, begging to be healed in a day when disease, ill-health, and death were a regular part of life.  And he healed them all, preaching and teaching as he went.  Unclean spirits cried out, but Jesus refused those foul demons to speak his holy name, teaching us that those who would use his name must embrace him as Savior and Lord or have nothing to do with him.  By the way, are we as desperate for Jesus as those poor souls were?  Has our age of medical care, excellent health, plenty, and instant gratification made us complacent to our spiritual infirmities, poverty of personal holiness, and slow progress of growth in the grace of our Lord and Savior?  If so, perhaps we need to throng him in our prayers, pleading for healing, begging that we may only touch the hem of his garment that we may be healed of worse diseases than they had in his day.

Then Matthew quotes the prophet Isaiah 42:1-3, a prophecy describing the character of our Lord.  The first lines declare his identity – the chosen One in whom the Father is well-pleased.  He is described as the One who has the Spirit without measure, the holy One of God.  He will proclaim justice to the Gentiles, that is, declare even unto them that divine favor has now fallen upon them.  The kingdom of God has come near to all those the Lord will call unto Himself – the outcast and the dispossessed.  “He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets,” meaning that in this first coming, he comes in humility, as if riding a donkey rather than a war horse, most refusing to recognize or acknowledge him (John 1:11).  “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench,” referring to his meekness and gentleness, binding up the brokenhearted, with his touch, and healing the souls of multitudes with a word of divine forgiveness.  And he does these things with the unassuming presence of a lamb, but with the tenacity and perseverance of a lion.  He will neither faint nor fail until he brings his people home, “bringing justice to victory,” carrying out his plan, leading his people through their long exile, granting unto them his gracious reward.  And in his name, we hope.  And hope in the Bible is not a mere possibility, but a certainty.  We trust our Lord and Savior implicitly.  He is Healer, our Comforter, our Captain, and he will deliver us.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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