Journal Matt 12 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “But the Pharisees went out and conspired against [Jesus], how to destroy him. Jesus (aware of this) withdrew from there. [and] Many followed him, and he healed them all and ordered them not to make him known.
(This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: ‘Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased.
I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; and in his name the Gentiles will hope.’).” Matt 12:14-21
Observation: Cause and effect? The passages before these talked about how Jesus put the Pharisees in their place.
After that, Jesus “healed many” and then instructed everyone to be quiet about it…
Would I have done that? Not hardly…
Application: I read accounts like this, read what Jesus did and said, and ponder why the guys today may not follow his example?
Maybe they do and it is just not publicized…
Going through Matthew (and the rest of the Gospel accounts) it is very evident that “preaching the Kingdom/Gospel and praying for healing” go hand in hand. Isn’t that something?
There is another thing to unpack: Jesus, while being public about preaching and miracles and stuff, still encouraged the followers to be quiet about it. Perhaps it is a corollary of “serving/giving in secret…”:
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them—for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven…But when you give (heal, serve?) to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you…” (Matt 6:1-4)
Concerning Jesus, it is wrapping up the prophetic word. He doesn’t raise his voice, doesn’t fight (although there is that whip in the temple thing…but even that is a reconciliation to a prophetic word [Ps 69:9]), and he opened the focus of redemption from the Jews only and included the Gentiles (always Plan A of the Gospel from creation).
So, in the Scripture passage above, I see what is happening in the time reviewed and the fulfillment of prophecy concerning Jesus. Candidly, I have a wandering mind thinking about this passage—a few thoughts are running through the space between my ears. Thoughts about Jesus and the way He did things; thoughts about prophecy; thoughts about the process of evangelism and if I am getting it “right”, etc.
While this is “authored” by Matthew, some historians (this dug out of my memory) attributes the text to Peter. If that is so, isn’t it interesting that the text talks about what is happening (Pharisees conspiring, Jesus healing, etc.) and then there is a memory of “This is like what the Scriptures say…”
How many times am I prodded to remember what the Scriptures say in my day-to-day life? When I speak badly, do I remember what the Scriptures say about it? When I act inappropriately? When I do good? Bad?
Do I immerse myself in the Word so that the Holy Spirit has something to bubble up in my memory?
“But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name—he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
Something to ponder.
Prayer: Lord God. God of wonder. Please drive your Word deep into my heart and memory. Let my gray cells, few as they are, be a testimony of your mercy and grace.
Ricky Two Shoes