The Chosen Servant

Manila Bulletin, July 17, 2009 | Go to article overview
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The Chosen Servant


Matthew 12:14-21The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus to put Him to death. When Jesus realized this, He withdrew from that place. Many people followed Him, and He cured them all, but He warned them not to make Him known. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen, My beloved in whom I delight; I shall place My Spirit upon Him, and He will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not contend or cry out, nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break, a smoldering wick He will not quench, until He brings justice to victory. And in His name the Gentiles will hope.”ReflectionServant-Son: The longest Old Testament quotation found in His Gospel, loosely based on Is. 42:1-4, allows Matthew to bring together some of the themes that he has been working with thus far.First, Jesus is the Servant of the Lord. This recalls the voice from the heavens at Jesus’ baptism (3:17) and points ahead to the voice from the cloud in the transfiguration narrative (17:5). Jesus, the Servant-Son, is doing God’s will.Second, the Servant-Son receives the Spirit. Mary conceived Jesus “through the Holy Spirit” (1:20). At His baptism, “the Spirit of God” descended on Jesus “like a dove” and came upon Him (3:16), after which “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil” (4:1).

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