Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part XV: Christ As Israel's Messiah Seen By The Opposition To His Ministry, Matthew 11:2-16:12
E. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Meek Withdrawal From Persecutors
(Matthew 12:14-21)
  1. Introduction
    1. Matthew's Gospel reveals that Jesus is God's Messiah to Israel though He did not establish His Messianic Kingdom at His first coming because Israel rejected Him. (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV , 1978, p. 1337, "Introduction to the Gospel According to Matthew"; Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 16)
    2. To validate Jesus' identity as Messiah regardless of His rejection, Matthew reveals how He Biblically correctly withdrew meekly from His persecutors in accord with God's will in His first advent (as follows):
  2. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Meek Withdrawal From Persecutors, Matthew 12:14-21:
    1. Though Revelation 19:11-21 presents Jesus in His Second Coming as Judge, in His first advent, like God calls believers today, Christ came as God's meek Lamb. (John 1:29 re: Christ; Matt. 10:16 re: believers)
    2. Thus, when Jesus knew the Pharisees reacted to His critique of their oppressive rules by plotting how to destroy Him (Matt. 12:1-14), He "withdrew" (KJV) Himself (anachoreo, "retire, take refuge," Arndt & Gingrich, A Grk.-Eng. Lex. of the N. T., 1967, p. 62-63) from confrontations with them, Matthew 12:15a.
    3. Remarkably, great multitudes then followed Jesus, and He healed them all (Matthew 12:15b, c), so a false Messiah would have used his great influence with the people to force his rule on His foes, Israel's leaders!
    4. However, in healing the crowds, Jesus "charged" (KJV), or rather "warned, spoke seriously" (epitimao, Ibid., p. 303) that they not make Him known, revealing Jesus healed people not because He sought to promote Himself, but due to His compassion for the needy who flocked to Him for help, Matthew 12:16.
    5. This unusual activity of meekness in One Who had so much influence fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 42:1-4 as follows (Matthew 12:18-21):
      1. Isaiah 42:1-4 predicted the first advent of the Messiah, the One Who as God the Father's Servant that the Father upheld, the One in Whom His soul delighted (cf. Matthew 3:17), would have the Holy Spirit upon Him, what occurred at Jesus' baptism in Matthew 3:16, Isaiah 42:1a,b.
      2. Messiah was to bring justice to the nations, initially being fulfilled in the spread of the Gospel to the world through the coming Church era, and later in its fullest sense at His Second Coming, Isaiah 42:1c.
      3. In His first advent, the Messiah would not cry out "either against oppressors, as some of the prophets had done, or for revenge," Isaiah 42:2a; Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, 1974, v. III, p. 112.
      4. He would not raise His voice "in strife," but speak "with calmness and quiet," Ibid.; Isaiah 42:2b.
      5. Messiah would not teach by "loud proclamation," but by "quiet instruction," Ibid., p. 113: Isa. 42:2c.
      6. In His first advent, Messiah would "bring blessing" and "not . . . destroy": the figures of a bruised reed that cannot withstand any more force lest it break and a smoking flax about to be extinguished together illustrate weak, vulnerable people whom Messiah would not crush as would an earthly conqueror, but rather that He would only tell God's truth and let it deal with men's hearts, Ibid., p. 113-114; Isa. 42:3.
      7. In His first advent, Messiah would not be like the weak people to whom He ministered -- He would not grow dim as a smoking wick or be crushed like a bruised reed -- He would not falter or be discouraged until He had gradually, tirelessly placed judgment in the earth and the isles awaited His law, Ibid., p. 114-116; Isa. 42:4. This expression pictures the faithful, persistent, gradual discipling work of Christ in His life and then through the ministry of the Church to the Gentiles at the ends of the earth, Ibid.
Lesson: In contrast to a false messiah, Jesus avoided forceful confrontation with His foes to minister in meek, faithful, tireless gentleness, letting the truth of what He taught be what gradually discipled men.

Application: May we in the Church era heed Jesus' example in ministering amid opponents: namely, (1) may we rely on the Holy Spirit's gifting (2 Tim. 1:6-7) and power (Eph. 5:18; Gal. 5:16; Isa. 42:1) (2) to withdraw from confrontations with foes (Matt. 12:14-16), (3) while meekly, quietly instructing others (Matt. 12:18-19; Isa. 42:2-3), faithfully, tirelessly letting the truth we teach disciple versus trying to force the discipling process in human effort (Isa. 42:4) as we aim to disciple the world, Matt. 12:20.