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Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

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Broken, But Not Beyond Repair!

Text: Isaiah 42:1-3; Matthew 12:14-21

Introduction: It would appear that a delightful word picture is found within our text. The great prophet Isaiah had been gathering the thin reeds, which grew so plentifully in the Jordan valley. The reeds were useful as writing instruments for the scribes, because they did not have number 2 pencils, and ink pens as we have today. As the great prophet sat at his table, with his reeds tied in a nice neat bundle, he began to make use of them by dipping them in his ink well to write. As the reeds became saturated with ink the tips of them would eventually break down and they would have to be discarded. At this point Isaiah drew a new reed from his bundle and continued the writing process, only to find that something was terribly wrong. His new reed was damaged, and as he exerted pressure upon it, it buckled under his hand. He was about to throw it away when suddenly, a still small voice spoke to him and said, “When the Messiah comes, a bruised reed shall He not brake, and the smoking flax He will not quench”. Seven centuries later Matthew saw this prophesy fulfilled with Jesus. Where Isaiah saw broken reeds, Matthew saw broken men. Yes they were broken, but with Jesus they were not beyond repair.

Consider the following few thoughts with me regarding our text:

I. First we see the Great Tragedy Associated with the broken. (Matthew 12:20)

Without any doubt whatsoever, the bruised reed, and the smoking flax set before us a serious problem. The problem can be addressed to two specific groups of people. They are:

A.The Sinner.

“A bruised reed…”

The bruised reed is very descriptive with regards to the sinner. The sinner is a broken or bruised individual.

Romans 3:9-18
What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17And the way of peace have they not known: 18There is no fear of God before their eyes.

The sinner is an individual who has been damaged by the fall. Everything about his, or her nature has been bruised.

B. The Saint.

“…the smoking flax…”

Just as the bruised reed represents the sinner, the smoking flax represents the saint.

There was a time when the flame burned brightly, but something has gone terribly wrong with the candlestick. The wick has just about burned out and it is about to die. The only sign of the flame is the faint, white, thin wisps of smoke that are arising from it. Does this not describe the child of God who started out with much vigor, but somewhere, and some how he has gotten himself side tracked and backslidden on God.

II. Second we see the Gracious Tenderness Administered to the broken. (Matthew 12:20)

How gracious and tender our wonderful Savior is in dealing with the fallen children of men. Consider with me how gracious He is with sinner and saint alike:

A. Consider His Pity toward the Sinner.

“A bruised reed shall he not break…”

Oh sinner, do you realize that the only reason you are not in hell tonight is because of God’s great mercy toward you? Every day that you continue to exist is a day given to you by God. What right have you to demand any good thing from God? Your life is damaged, and unprofitable for God in it’s fallen state. Oh yes, you are only here because God has Chosen not to break the bruised reed. But there will come a day that you will be destroyed if there is not a change made in your heart toward God.

B. Consider His Patience toward the Saint.

“…the smoking flax shall he not quench…”

Child of God, do you realize how patient God is being with you in your backslidden state? There was a time when you burned brightly for God. What happened to make the flame die down to nothing more than a wisp of smoke? Impetuosity says, “Pinch out the wick and light another candle”. The Savior in His patience replies, “ No. I will gently breathe upon it, and possibly renew the flame”. Do you realize that ever time you feel your heart strings tugged by the Holy Ghost of God to return unto the Father, that God in His patience is blowing gently upon your candle? How long will He suffer with you before He snuffs out your candle and lights another in some one else?

III. Third we see the Glorious Tribute Acknowledged by the broken. (Matthew 12:21)

How great is the tribute to our wonderful Lord. He is hailed as the only Savior for mankind.

A. Notice the Person of the tribute.

“And in his name…”

Whose name? Jesus’ name! For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12). He is the only one we can give a tribute of praise to for our salvation. Oh how lovely is His name! He is the Savior of fallen man.

B. Notice the People of the tribute.

“…shall the Gentiles trust.”

Matthew undoubtedly watched the massive, surging crowd that came to Jesus for healing that day and saw that no man was denied access to God. Jew and Gentile, rich or poor; all were welcomed, and all were healed (Matthew 12:15 “…and he healed them all…”). All men find a place in the affections of the Savior.

Conclusion: Seven centuries divided Isaiah and Matthew. Isaiah looked forward; Matthew looked back; and their vision met in the man Christ Jesus. Isaiah thought of his reed; Matthew thought of men; and probably both were glad to say, “And in His name…shall we all trust”. Have you trusted Him today? In the eyes of the world you may be broken, however; in the eyes of Jesus you are not beyond repair.


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