Matthew 12:15- 21 The Servant

1)   God’s Pleasure is in Christ alone

Matthew continually tried to show a Jewish audience that Jesus was the Messiah and it was only through Him that God could be pleased with us. Matthew quotes Isaiah 42:1-4 or a modification of it to prove Jesus was the Messiah they had longed to see.

Matthew 3:16-17 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him,[a] and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son,[b] with whom I am well pleased.”

Matthew 17:5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son,[a] with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

Some of the Jewish leaders used this exact terminology in Luke 23 when Jesus was on the cross because they said let Him save Himself if He is the chosen one. They wanted a religion of their own making on their own terms and wanted to earn their own way to God.

If you think by your actions that you can please God then you missed the purpose of Christ coming to earth. Our acts are rubbish to God and we have to get out of the mindset that anything we have to offer outside of the spirit of God working through us is garbage to God. The Christian life is about surrender not what we have to offer. Jesus did not choose those who thought they had something to offer but took those who were willing to follow Him and transform them through the power of the Holy Spirit to change the world.

“I will put my Spirit upon Him”

Matthew again was just pointing back to the prophecies of the Messiah and reminding them of what took place through Jesus because Gods spirit was upon Him working miracles. As we will find out later they had no other argument but to say that Christ was filled with Satan. They knew that no one could do the things that Jesus did without the power of God residing in Him so they had to say Jesus received His power from Satan.

It is this same spirit of God that makes us pleasing to God because it is when His Spirit rest upon you that God sees the Spirit and not all the actions you have committed that separate you from God. God’s Love plus Christ’s sacrifice and the Gift of the Holy Spirit are the only way we can be accepted by God. You may think you are a good person but the reality is that you will never be found on your own pleasing in God’s sight

Romans 8:8-9 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

 

2)   God’s Message is for everyone

“He will proclaim Justice for the Gentiles

The Religious leaders did not think that the message of God was for everyone but just for them and so they arrogantly thought they were the only nation that God would accept.

Genesis 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed

God designated the Jewish people for His message to go out to the whole world but somehow they missed that and became focused on their own salvation and righteousness. The first person Jesus revealed His messiah -ship to was a Samaritan woman which means she was half Jew and half Gentile. Jesus did that showing that His message was for everyone and not just a chosen nation. The nation of Israel was chosen but chosen to bring salvation to the world.

 Those who seek to Justify themselves through their works will only find judgment. 

Those who accept Christ are justified because of Christ payment for their sin.

When Jesus withdrew many followed Him and it was those who received healing.  Jesus compassion for those who are hurting is evident throughout the gospels and it is this part of Jesus that so many are drawn to then and now. It is when the teaching get difficult that we see those who considered themselves Disciples start to turn away but as long as Jesus is doing the miracles they will follow.

Now God has given the task of telling the world about Him to the church. With that in mind, are we any better than the religious leaders when we do not share with others about the good news of God?

Mark 16:14-16 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

3)   God’s servants must be humble

“He will not quarrel or cry aloud”

We must follow the example of Christ with how we serve.The arrogance that is in Christianity today with many saying that if you pray a certain way then God has to do your bidding is astonishing. This takes away from being the humble servants we are called to be and we become whining children when God does not do what we ask. We are the Kings Kids but we are to live as servants on this earth just as Christ came to serve.

Philippians 2:5-8 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[b] being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

We need to empty ourselves and fill ourselves with Christ. We need to fill ourselves with His mentality and Spirit as we place others above ourselves.

To quarrel means to hassle or brawl

To Cry out means to shout out excitedly.

Those two things describe us when we do not get our way and it is the opposite attitude of a servant. Servants do not get their way, they do not go first, and they make sure all others are taken care of before they take care of themselves. When you start to get upset unless it is over injustice of others it is probably because you did not get your way.

1 Peter 2:23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.

Who wronged you? What was your response? God saw it and He wants them to repent but He will hold them accountable as our Master. Jesus did speak up when others were in harm’s way or being mistreated but when He was being abused He just moved on and carried on with His mission.

Too many people focus on what has happened to them in the past instead of seeing it as a way of God moving them onto another ministry or mission. It was through the persecution of the early church that caused the rapid expansion of Christianity throughout the whole world. God sees what was done to you and instead of focusing on the injustice focus on where God is leading you.

4)   God’s servant treats others tenderly

Websters 1913 Dictionary defines Tenderly as; mildly; gently; softly; in a manner not to injure or give pain; with pity or affection; kindly.

Reeds were used for many purposes but once they became battered they were useless. The shepherds would then just break them and throw them on the ground.  The same is true of a candle that would not give any flame but would only smoke and so they were thrown out as well. Jesus used these common examples to show that no matter what condition you are in that you are still valuable and would not be thrown out.

When people come into our lives broken how will we treat them?

If we really believe that Christianity is the answer than when people come to us  that are broken and burned out from the worlds ways, will we be gentle with them? Or will we say,They deserve to be in that situation because they made bad choices”  or “You reap what you sow” and they have to live with it.

“We live in a culture that is generally uninterested in the truth of the gospel, partly because they are thoroughly unimpressed by those who proclaim it. (Josh McDowell, Apologetics for a New Generation, Pg 58)

Josh McDowell  says that 87% believe the Church is Judgmental and 86% believe Christianity is phony and unreal. We need to Take people where they are but take them where they need to be. That includes holding them accountable for their actions and if they are not willing to repent or humble themselves then we have to address that as well. Those who have bought into the worlds lies only to to find out that those things left them empty and longing for more, we need to be gentle with as to not break them or they might be destroyed.

Josh McDowell who wrote Evidence that Demands a Verdict  says that it was apologetics that got his attention but it was the love of God that drew Him in. It is that same love that will draw people to Christ but not all will accept it.

Jude 1:17-23 17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They[f] said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment[g] stained by the flesh.

If we are going to call ourselves Christians than we have to be more like Christ. We need to start today by emptying ourselves out and get rid of our pride, our rights and our ways and become servants. You will never treat others properly until you change the view of who you are supposed to be and that is that you are a servant.

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