A short setup and a long quote.
Jesus was aware that the Pharisees were against him and wanted him out of the way, so he got out of town. Crowds followed him, as was often the case, and he continued healing them.
Jesus didn’t use his healing ministry as publicity, like a modern day faith healer does. His healing was pure mercy. But some of the people were more interested in the healing than in the Kingdom; he told them to keep it on the down low.
Matthew uses this occasion to quote from Isaiah, using a passage that was already thought of as messianic even before Jesus. He uses this passage to tell us more about Jesus.
- God has chosen Jesus for this job
- The words and vision at the baptism of Jesus come to mind here
- Some Jews may have thought that the messiah would bring judgment on the Gentiles, but Matthew’s use of the passage is more directed at Jesus bringing a Kingdom wherein there will be true justice for all peoples. Lord, how we need that today. Kingdom come!
- Jesus is not a rabble-rouser and he is not loudly disputing with the Pharisees or anyone else. Neither is he violent.
- But he will indeed bring justice to fruition. Amen.
- The result is hope. Hey, I’m a gentile. I’m allowed to have hope too.