God's Chosen Servant
15When Jesus found out what was happening, he left there and large crowds followed him. He healed all of their sick, 16but warned them not to tell anyone about him. 17So God's promise came true, just as Isaiah the prophet had said,
18 “Here is my chosen servant!
I love him,
and he pleases me.
I will give him my Spirit,
and he will bring justice
to the nations.
19He won't shout or yell
or call out in the streets.
20He won't break off a bent reed
or put out a dying flame,
but he will make sure
that justice is done.
21All nations will place
their hope in him.”
As people living in a post-Christian world, whenever we read about healings in the Scriptures our thinking often goes to debates about Jesus’ divinity or evidences that Scripture is true. But, as important as these debates might have been, they can take our mind off what is most important in Scripture by diverting our attention to what is most important to us.
Did you notice the connection made between Jesus’ healing ministry and Isaiah’s servant bringing about justice (Isaiah 42:1-3)? This text draws a direct connection between the two. The servant is clearly Jesus, but, when we think of Jesus and justice we think about the cross and his death. Justice is Jesus dying in our place on the cross, right? This passage pushes us to reflect on Jesus’ healing ministry as bringing the justice God promised. What is going on here? What do the writers of Scripture know that we don’t?
We often forget, in our world that hungers for retaliation, that justice in Scripture concerns restoration and setting things right. We talk about punishment. Scripture talks about restoration. The promise of justice that the prophets foretold is the promise of things set right, restored to how God designed them to be.
Healing was indeed an act of justice, performed just as the prophet Isaiah had predicted. Healing restores things to the way they are supposed to be. As you go through your day, ask yourself what you see that needs to be set right? What needs to be restored to the way God designed it to be? When you see those things, ask God for the wisdom to act in that situation so as to bring justice.
Gracious God, help me to be your agent of restoration through the power of your Spirit in the name of your Son. Amen.