A Bruised Reed

Aug 21, 2011 By: Damien Garofalo Series: BOL Internal Speaker Scripture: Matthew 12:1-21
In the eleventh chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew, the Lord Jesus Christ declared his lowliness and willingness to take upon himself the burdens of his people. Jesus’ humble response to the needy people and solemn charge not to make him known, in reaction to the Pharisees’ zealous legalism fulfilled a prophecy found in the 42nd chapter of Isaiah. In the prophecy, the foretold Servant comes not as a conquering warrior but as a gentle Savior. He will not break a bruised reed. He will not quench a smoldering wick. It is obvious from the context that Jesus is the fulfillment of this prophecy. But what is a bruised reed? Symbolically, bruised reeds are those who recognize their own hopelessness – they are the people for whom Christ came: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” This fact is why Jesus could say “come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” This fact is why Jesus did not refuse to be gracious to those who came to him. Jesus is meek and lowly in heart. We may have seen ourselves as bruised reeds at one time or another, but the temptation we face is to neglect our dependence on Christ and confide in our own strength. We substitute legalism for grace, self-centered religion for Christ-centered faith. Legalistic, self-centered religion binds heavy burdens on people, not considering them as weak, and ultimately leads people away from God. Christ however, meets people where they are and offers grace to the humble.