“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.
A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth. He will not fail or be discouraged, until He has established justice in the earth.” Isaiah 42:1-4
Matthew, in quoting this passage, (in 12:15-21) tells us of the “many who followed Jesus, and He healed them all, and ordered them not to make Him known. This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah.” Our Lord’s ministry was not like the soap-box orator, shouting his message to the crowds at Hyde Park Corner, London, on a Sunday morning. Neither was He like certain popular charismatic leaders doing the same with the aid of electronics to their congregations of thousands. I like the way in which “the Message” puts it – “He won’t call attention to what he does with loud speeches or gaudy parades. He won’t brush aside the bruised and the hurt and he won’t disregard the small and insignificant, but he’ll steadily and firmly set things right.”
So why did Jesus order people NOT to make Him known? Surely He had a message that needed to be disseminated as widely as possible? First and foremost, He never wanted the crowds to elevate Him to the position of popularity. But there was another reason behind that. He knew the danger of pride that accompanies popularity, and he was aware of the cunning working of Satan, using every possible means to try to make Him sin.
That which our Lord began on Earth was but the foretaste of His new ministry in the Kingdom. Are we asking Him to reverse what the prophet said? Are we expecting Him to come with a blast of trumpets, ready to be admired by everyone for His royal attire and angelic retinue? And what is perhaps more to the point, shall those of us who are expecting to be a part of His Kingdom, and in our resurrection bodies, adopt a flamboyant sort of showmanship to the crowds? Surely not.
These will be days of “establishing justice in the Earth”, and it will not be an easy task, but as with our Lord and Master, we shall “not fail or be discouraged UNTIL” the task is fulfilled to the glory of God. Isaiah’s word is both the blueprint for our ministry, and at the same time the PROMISE – “Until He sends forth justice to victory.” (Matt.12:20)