He Came for Bruised Reeds
The great political leaders of ancient times relied on might to rule. (Many today still do.) Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, was described as trampling people into oblivion and treading on them as a potter might tread on clay (see Isaiah 41:25). Yet at the same time Isaiah prophesied of the Servant to come—one who would be in direct contrast with the rulers of the day.
Jesus, the Servant, is gentle, tender, and kind. Those whom others are tempted to reject and discard He is willing and able to use. What an encouraging word!
In the picture of a bruised reed, we see the significance of Jesus’ tenderness towards us. You can’t lean on a bruised reed, and neither can you make music with it. Yet Jesus picks up those whom others have cast aside and makes a beautiful melody in and through their lives. Today, you may find yourself feeling horribly downtrodden, damaged by what others have done to you or injured by past mistakes. Perhaps you’ve been tempted to believe that you’re broken and useless. But there is glorious news for you: the Servant picks up bruised reeds, and He does so with care.
Jesus also makes use of smoldering wicks. He doesn’t snuff them out; rather, He takes the flickering stump and He makes it a shining light. Maybe you’ve been led to believe that your best days are behind you; you’re a sputtering old candle, a faint and dying flame. If you haven’t got it figured out by now, you tell yourself, there’s probably no hope for you at all. But once again there is good news: smoldering wicks find hope in this Servant, who has come to rekindle us.
Jesus is phenomenally interested in the no-names—the bruised reeds, the smoldering wicks. He redeems and uses them to bring light to the world and praise to His name. In truth, one way or another we are all bruised reeds and faintly burning wicks. Are we willing to recognize our humble situation so that we can know the gentleness and kindness of the Servant? After all…
He’ll never quench the smoking flax,
But raise it to a flame;
The bruisèd reed He never breaks,
Nor scorns the meanest name.
Jesus Raises a Widow's Son
11Soon afterward3 he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. 12As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. 13And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus4 gave him to his mother. 16Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” 17And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.
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