This is Breakfast With Dad, a collection of devotions on books of the Bible that I send out to over 150 friends and family members. I hope you will take time to read the most recent blog and maybe one of two from past offerings. If you have an interest in studying the Bible or have been thinking about starting a daily devotion, this would be a good place to begin. I started writing these devotions when my youngest son moved away from home and was having a hard time in his life. I used to fix him a hot breakfast every morning before school, so I decided to send him spiritual food instead to encourage his heart. I hope these "breakfasts" encourage you.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Matthew 12:15:21 Justice to Victory!

Matthew 12:15:21  Aware of this (that the Pharisees plotted to kill him), Jesus withdrew from that place.  A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill.  He warned them not to tell others about him.  This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet 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 has brought justice through to victory.  In his name the nations will put their hope.”

Jesus came to the planet Earth powerless, as a baby without any promise of physical inheritance, for his Father was God, not Joseph.  He was not born out of royalty within a protective, clean environment; He was born in a stable.  He lived the early part of his adult life as a carpenter.  After his baptism, He became an ember of fire for God, touching people through his teachings and actions.  He lived with no aggressive agenda to wrestle power from the world’s established elites.  He organized no demonstrations in the streets.  He did not stir the people to revolt against their leadership.  He did not shout a proclamation of freedom for all to the masses.  He led no insurrection.  He sought no prominent position in the Temple.  Jesus stood not as a conniving politician or a violent warlord seeking power.  He swore to no flag, neither did He give an oath of allegiance to any authority.  Christ, the Lord, came in the form of a harmless baby.  He left earth as the Lamb of God, paying for the sins of all who accepted him, but with no power to determine his own destiny.  No disturbance He made.  Even when He healed all who came to him, He requested that they tell no one of the good deeds done to them.  A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill.  He warned them not to tell others about him.  Jesus did not seek verification from men.  He did not need man’s validation of his mission.  He came to do the will of God, to lay down his life for a rebellious world.  This world desired not to recognize their Creator and figuratively lifted its fist against God, claiming too readily, We will make our own gods in our image!  We do not need any god or any creator to have dominion over us and our will.  We will obey what we desire to obey and disobey any law we do not want to follow.  Whatever we do, we will do it under our own terms and our own will.  In our advancement, we will go to the galaxies, searching for timelessness.  We will create eternal life out of our knowledge of how things are constructed.  We will spark life.  We do not need any other controlling factor in our lives.  For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.  (Romans 1:21-23) 

We are marvelously made, but also dangerously made, for we have the ability to do many phenomenal things, both positive and evil.  At the present time, we are flying a helicopter on Mars.  We are investigating other planets, maybe even to disprove that this planet is unique.  Perhaps our desire is to put the creation story at rest, that life supposedly started with God.  This nature of rebellion has been in the hearts of men from the beginning.  Satan capitalized on that spirit and said to Eve, "You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.  “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.  (Genesis 3:4-5)  Eve rallied to that idea and partook of the tree.  If her eyes would be opened, she too could be as God, with dominion over everything.  But instead of finding freedom and power, oppression and chaos entered man’s existence.  Adam and Eve knew immediately they were naked; they became ashamed of their lack of clothing.  Something was wrongthey were not even comfortable in their own skin.  God dealt with them kindly, clothing them.  However, now because of their rebellion, they could not stay in the Garden.  Sin is cancerous: longevity only increases sin’s destructive ability.  They lost freedom and their intimate relationship with God; they gained bondage.  Jesus came as a servant to destroy the bondage that had captivated humankind.  He came not in the robe of a master or a ruler.  He came as a servant to all the Adam’s and Eve’s that ever existed.  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.  Jesus came to rectify the condition of men, to establish justice on earth, to heal the brokenhearted, to care for those who have lost out in this life.  He came with no retinue to prepare the way for him.  He came with a gentle spirit, serving others, seeking to help the wounded and the blind.  He would not clamor in the streets for attention, but instead treated the needy in a tender way, telling them, I will heal you, I will take care of you.  Jesus will not take advantage of the powerless, the broken, the needy.  He will not champion his cause of deliverance until justice for sin is paid for by his own sacrifice.  He will proclaim that victory has been won for all who will honor his name and put their faith in his works and not their own.  Then his disciples would receive the freedom to express God’s validation of Jesus on the mountaintop.  A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”  When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone.  (Luke 9:35-36)  People would hear about the lion of Judah, not just the Lamb of God.  All would understand that God has come to earth incarnated in Jesus the man.  In trusting Jesus and his works, all people, all nations, can be delivered from the bondage of sin and its concomitant destitution.  Jesus came as a baby and left as the Lamb of God, but will return as the Lion of Judah.  His greatness will be revealed and his loving and just heart will be exposed to all men.  He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.  Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.  The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.  (Psalms 147:3-6)
As people of God who trust in the work of Jesus, we too are servants: we too represent the nature of God.  We are willing to do good to all people without clamoring for attention or resorting to violence and disruption to win our cause for Jesus.  We are gentle, peaceful, loving, and caring; for we are children of the Most High.  We represent a different world, one that is not competitive, one that does not spar with God for attention or for authority.  We are subservient to his will, no matter how inconsequential it is.  Our love for Christ goes beyond our desire to be self-willed.  Let God’s will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven is or motto in life.  Yet, we are special people, chosen by God to be his own.  He has cleansed us with the blood of his own Son.  We are not our own, but we have been bought with a high price.  Jesus’ blood has paid the complete price for our sins.  His blood has made us completely acceptable to the Father God, the Creator of all things.  As with Paul, we are chosen instruments to proclaim God’s goodness, his plan of salvation for the world.  The Lord said to Ananias, “Go!  This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.  I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”  (Acts 9:15-16)  We are marvelously made to be instruments of God.  Because of Jesus, we are described as children of God.  Implied within that term is that we have his Spirit, his power, resident in us.  Consequently, we need to fall under his plan for us in this world.  We need to complete the task that He has designed for us in this existence.  We are to finish each day, each month, each year, completing the task of representing God in everything we do.  Jesus was kind and tender.  He did not wish for notoriety.  He desired to manifest God in everything that He did.  In fact He said, I always do my Father’s will.  Let us also be as He was as He walked this earth.  Let us always do the Father’s will, let our hearts rejoice in our Savior, let our ears be tuned to his words.  If so, all people around us will hear and see the works of God, and they will put their hope of eternal life in God’s hands.  People everywhere will know God.  In his name the nations will put their hope.  Today, Jesus is calling each of you to put your hope in him.  He says, Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.  (Matthew 11:28-30)   


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