October 5, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO REFRAIN

Matthew 12:14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.
15 But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;
16 And charged them that they should not make him known:
17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
18 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 shew judgment to the Gentiles.
19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.

“HE SHALL NOT STRIVE”
The prophet Isaiah prophesied that the coming Messiah would not “strive” or “cry”. Here is the OT passage:

* Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. 2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.

The word “strive” in verse nineteen means to “wrangle” or literally argue, or to scuffle. Isaiah prophesied that one of the characteristics of our Savior would be that He would resist the urge to argue, or to fight with others.

Although the Pharisees were gearing up for a fight, Jesus was removing Himself from one. You will notice as you read through the New Testament in the accounts of the earthly ministry of Jesus, that he continuously refrained Himself from getting into combative situations. Jesus chose to forgive. Jesus chose to love. Jesus chose to do good to others that did Him evil. He was not going to be known as the one that always wanted to argue with someone. He was not going to be known for the fact that He was always screaming in the streets arguing with someone. So many tried to get Jesus to do that, but He never let himself. He would not “strive”.

How ridiculous would it be to be the Prince of Peace, and yet always at odds with others. They were people that were just mad at Jesus because of who He was, but even Pilate said that he could “find no fault in Him”. Jesus was not a loud, argumentative, hot tempered individual. Jesus always spoke with love, kindness, and yet boldness. Jesus never disrespected anyone unless they disrespected His Father’s house. Wouldn’t it be great if you and I were known as individuals like that? How effective would it be to have that kind of testimony? I encourage each of us today to stop and ask the Lord to give us His spirit, His self-control, His attitude, His kindness, and His heart. I am persuaded that He is able to do that in our lives.