How Does Jesus Fulfill the Messianic Prophecy of the Servant Healer?
Matthew 12:15 – 21 quotes the prophecy of Isaiah 42:1 – 4, which states that the Messiah would, by God’s Spirit, tend to the weak with humility. In what ways does Jesus fulfill this prophecy?
Both Matthew and Isaiah depict a servant leader who would have the power to heal, but who would choose not to exercise his power to gain public recognition. Jesus quietly yet steadily proclaimed the arrival of the kingdom of God. In Matthew 12:16 Jesus asked those whom he cured not to tell others who he was. This is evidence of his humility and desire not to draw attention to himself.
The Messiah came to minister to the weak, which the bruised reed and smoldering wick poignantly symbolize. A bruised reed is fit only to be thrown away and a smoldering wick is to be trimmed or discarded. These images represent people rejected by others yet embraced by the Messiah. The Gospels record many instances of Jesus reaching out to those in low social standing who were at the mercy of those with power and wealth (see Matthew 11:28 – 30; Luke 7:36 – 50; John 8:1 – 11).
Jesus’ ministry to the sick and the weak and his demonstration of humility despite his great power fulfilled the prophecy in Isaiah 42. Matthew recognized this fulfillment and recorded Christ’s deeds for us to appraise today.