Letter Twenty Two
Imagine you were one of the women followers of Jesus during his three-year ministry on earth. What would it be like as you heard his teachings, walked by his side, and watched his ministry?
The word on the street lately is that the Pharisees are plotting to kill Jesus. I can hardly believe that they are our religious leaders! Surely, they do not understand that he is Christ, the Messiah. It is amazing to me that they cannot see this. Even the evil spirits fall down before him and cry out “You are the Son of God.” Everywhere Jesus goes, he brings kindness and healing. He shares mercy and wisdom. His teaching leads us to be more devoted to God. In fact, when we left the Pharisees and went to the lake, large crowds from Galilee followed us. People came from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. There is nowhere I would rather be than in the presence of Jesus.
Another joy in following Christ is getting to fellowship with his disciples. We often discuss the things we are learning and experiencing. Today we talked about how Jesus is fulfilling the prophecies of Isaiah. “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. In his name the nations will put their hope.”
When Jesus was baptized, we heard God the Father speak of His delight and love of His Son. We saw the Spirit come upon him and anoint him with power. Jesus does not stand on the street corners shouting out judgement. Nor does he quarrel with those who are opposed to his teachings. Rather, with gentleness, he heals the sick. As people gather around him, he teaches us of God’s love. He does not condemn us. Rather, he gently restores us through words of peace, righteousness, and justice. People are coming from all around to learn from him. I can see that his words will spread and bring hope of justice to many nations.
I keep meditating on the phrase “a bruised reed He will not break.” Sister, I think I am a bruised reed. Though many come to Jesus for physical healing, I realize that my brokenness is in my spirit. Some of the grief we have felt in the past from cruelty done to our family and neighbors by the Roman soldiers has left me scarred. Fear fills my heart. I still have nightmares from these frightening days. I am the bruised reed that Jesus is gently healing. In the past, I blamed God for not protecting us. But now I see that we are the ones who have turned away from our devotion to God. Yes, we observe the Sabbath and go to the temple. But in our day to day lives, we ignore God. We do not worship Him with all our heart, mind, and soul. We do not love our neighbor as ourselves. Yet rather than condemn us, Jesus came to save us from our sin. In his name, I will put my hope.
your broken sister
Today’s Bible Reading: Matthew 12:15-21; Mark 3:7-12; Isaiah 42:1-4
Are you a bruised reed? “A bruised reed He will not break” (Isaiah 42:3). Have things happened in your past or present that have left you broken? David says: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:17).
Bring your wounds, your pain, and your grief to the Lord. Ask Him to heal your heart and restore your soul. Confess any bitterness you have to God or others. Humble yourself before Him and He will bring you “the oil of gladness instead of mourning” (Isaiah 61:3b). He will heal your bruised reed and turn you into a melodious musical instrument again, playing praise songs to our God (see Colossians 3:16).