Mathew 12:20: “A bruised reed He will not break, / And smoking flax He will not quench, / Till He sends forth justice to victory.”

October 9th, 2018 by Pastor Ed in devotional

This illustration, first recorded by the prophet Isaiah and used here by Jesus, is meant to be a great encouragement to us all. Bruised reeds are an obvious reference to bruised people. The Hebrew word Isaiah used, bruised, literally means “hurt by oppression;” this includes the discouragement someone faces in life. We have all been bruised reeds at some point in our lives. We have all experienced times when we were oppressed and discouraged, bruised and almost broken. Life is like that—life is messy. Things happen that disrupt our lives. An unexpected event, storm, or person bursts onto the scene and leaves us bruised.

We have also all burnt dimly from time to time, and that is what the “smoking flax He will not quench” picture is about. It describes those who are exhausted or “burnt-out” in their lives. People who are downtrodden, failures, outcasts, or “problem people.” Those who may even be the “embarrassing people,” who just can’t seem to get their lives together, who don’t live up to other people’s expectations. Many are quick to dispense with these kinds of people—but Jesus is not. It does not matter how blown about or how low on oil one’s life is, if there’s even just a faint glow left, Jesus will nurture it back to light and life.

God the Son promises He will not break the bruised life or completely snuff out the dimly-lit life. Rule and religion would destroy and condemn it for not being whole, but Jesus heals and restores. He will not break, crush, bruise, or snuff anyone who is seeking to know or grow in Him. Jesus will not quench the smallest hope.

“Thank you, LORD!”