A Man of Peace
November 30, 2020
He will not quarrel, nor cry out; nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets (Matthew 12:19).
Isaiah said the Messiah would be called the ‘Prince of Peace’ (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus said those who are ‘peace makers’ will be blessed with happiness and will be called ‘sons of God’ (Matthew 5:9). In our text for today, the prophet Isaiah said the Lord would not ‘quarrel’. The word means to wrangle, hassle, or to brawl. To ‘cry out’ is to shout out with intensity like children screaming while they play.
The verse describes Jesus as a Man of gentleness, patience, and self-control regarding the expression of His emotions. He would not be One easily excited by situations or circumstances. He would not enter a town, village, or city with fanfare, shouting from the streets that He was present among the people.
The verse also describes Jesus as One who would not be argumentative with people, who would not be forceful in His teaching or preaching. The prophet painted a picture of Jesus that is almost passive in His public ministry. But Jesus wasn’t passive. He didn’t bully people from His ‘pulpit’ like some preachers or orators do. He spoke to people with authority and His authority was in the words He spoke, not in the tone or volume of His speaking.
One thing I learned in classes on public speaking and communications is that no real persuasion can be made by yelling, shouting, or intimidating. People are turned off by that. King Solomon said (Ecclesiastes 9:17), The words of the wise heard in quietness are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools; and, A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15:1). The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians (1 Corinthians 12:1-2), And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. Paul enjoyed a good debate, but unlike a lot of people he didn’t believe argumentation involved angry tones and high volume.
When we consider the various aspects of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) we should come away with the thought that Christians, under the control of the Holy Spirit, reflect the same attitude and demeanor of Jesus in speaking with others. Our authority and persuasiveness comes from the Holy Spirit who gives us the words to speak and the manner in which they are to be spoken to others.
“Lord Jesus, give me the patience, spiritual peace, and self-control in speaking to others so that Your words through me will draw others to You. Your Gospel is peace. May I share your Gospel peacefully and lovingly so that You are honored in my witness to others. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”