Ignore the Hate
November 23, 2020
But Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. Many followed Him, and He healed them all, and warned them not to tell who He was. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen; My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased; I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel, nor cry out; nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A battered reed He will not break off, and a smoldering wick He will not put out, until He leads justice to victory. And in His name the gentiles will hope" (Matthew 12:15-21).
I remember a time in high school when a fellow student challenged me to a fight. I had never been in a fight, nor did I ever want to be in a fight. Yet he challenged. I did not respond verbally or physically to his challenge, which made him all the more aggressive. He hit me, opening up my right eyebrow and causing blood to flow down my eye and cheek. I didn’t say anything. I just turned and walked away. Some students called me coward, others called me brave. He didn’t say a word. I didn’t care. Fighting was not my thing.
Jesus knew what the Pharisees were up to. His omniscience (knowing all things) made Him aware of their plot and their plans. He left the area, not because He was a coward, but because it was not His purpose to fight the Pharisees His entire ministry. It was not His time to surrender to them. The prophet Isaiah (42:1-4) clearly outlined the character of the Messiah - He is the Prince of Peace. His ministry was to heal the body and soul, not to contend with the devil and his servants. They would receive their judgment in due time.
There is another interesting note sounded by the prophet regarding Jesus - And in His name the gentiles will hope. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. His primary target for ministry was the Jews, but He did not ignore the needs of the Gentiles. Like Paul, when the Jews refused Him, He went to those who would accept Him, including the Gentiles. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16).
By the way, the young man who challenged me to a fight never bothered me again.
“Lord Jesus, thank You for staying focused on the mission You were sent to accomplish. Thank You for not getting side-tracked by the arrogance and evil plans of the Pharisees. And thank You for including the Gentiles in Your plan of salvation. Millions, if not billions of people would spend eternity separated from You had the Gospel only affected the Jews. Your love is beyond measure, Your mercy and grace beyond comprehension. To Your praise and glory I pray, Amen.”