Advent 12, 2016
I am reading through Matthew and writing my observations, some of which are shared on this blog. I came to his allusion to the Suffering Servant passage from Isaiah 42, which he quotes in Matthew 12:18ff. I realize that a whole book could (an probably has) been written on Matthew's particular use of prophecy. Let me correct myself here; Matthew isn't just making a loose reference here to the Isaiah prophecy; he is saying that at this point in his life Jesus fulfilled that prophecy.
A bruised reed he will not break nor a smoking flax he will not quench. I have read that for years and didn't have a clue what it means. I may not now, but I have a better idea, maybe. Jesus will not, does not, break what is already damaged or quench that which is trying to live and be a full flame. Not only that; he makes it possible for the bruised reed to be whole again and the smoking flax (which is talking about a oil lamp wick, not a pile of linen fibers) to come to useful brightness.
I am so blessed by this interpretation, this truth, that I don't know where to start. I found myself being appallingly prideful last night, in a way that I don't even know where the feelings came from, and I come to this verse. Since Jesus is embodied in us on earth, we too should heal where there is brokenness and bring to fullness those who are struggling. We can't do this for every single person, but we can do it where it becomes apparent it is our responsibility.