Not where our hope is

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What do you do to escape from pressure? Be honest with yourself. Ask the Lord to help you to trust in the Hope of the World.

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Bible passage: Matthew 12:15–21

God’s Chosen Servant

15 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill.(A) 16 He warned them not to tell others about him.(B) 17 This was to fulfill(C) what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen,
    the one I love, in whom I delight;(D)
I will put my Spirit on him,(E)
    and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
19 He will not quarrel or cry out;
    no one will hear his voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he has brought justice through to victory.
21     In his name the nations will put their hope.”[a](F)

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Audio Bible passage

The audio version of the passage is taken from the Contemporary English Version (CEV).


Under pressure
There’s so much bad news at the moment. I’m under too much pressure – at home and at work. When’s it all going to end? Because I’m not sure I can take much more. How can God possibly understand how it feels?

Maybe that’s you, or someone you know. But what was Jesus going through? Look at verses 2, 10 and 14. He’s been called a drunkard, a glutton, someone who kept bad company. There are death threats, John was doubting him, and now crowds are badgering him (v 15). Jesus was under tremendous pressure – and he knew where it was all horribly going to end.

God understands
Matthew shows Jesus as the Servant Messiah, described by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 42:1–4); the one who gently and lovingly brings healing and restoration. He is the total opposite of those who quarrel and shout loudest and trample over others (vs 19,20); he is the Servant of the Lord (v 18).

No wonder the world will hope in his name (v 21): this is a God who understands. He knows brokenness and pain and frailty and pressure. His name is the hope of the world.

Penelope Swithinbank


What pressures are you facing? What difference does it make to know that Jesus faced pressure and opposition? What do you need from the Hope of the World?

Deeper Bible study

When tensions escalated to a peak, Jesus withdrew to avoid further open confrontation with the Pharisees. Meanwhile, the crowd continued to seek after him and he carried on his healing ministry. However, he warned the crowd not to make him known. This theme of secrecy is mentioned by Matthew earlier (Matt 8:4; 9:30) but has taken on greater significance in light of the increased hostility from the Pharisees, who now want to kill Jesus (v 14). By recording Jesus’ withdrawal from open confrontation, Matthew shows that hostility was not an obstacle to Jesus’ ministry but was in fact part of God’s plan, as prophesied in the Old Testament – and he illustrates this by quoting (vs 18–21) from one of the Servant Songs in Isaiah (Isa 42:1–4).

The words from the Servant Song, ‘Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight’ (v 18) resemble the words spoken by the voice from heaven at Jesus’ baptism (Matt 3:17) and again at the transfiguration (Matt 17:5). By applying the Servant Song to Jesus, Matthew demonstrates that Jesus is the Lord’s Servant who was meek, humble, not quarrelsome and one who sought for justice. It was through this means that he would accomplish the mission to Israel and the Gentiles. Keeping this bigger vision in mind, Jesus knew when to withdraw from fruitless confrontation.

Conflicts and confrontation are inevitable in our Christian journey. There are times we are required to be vocal and speak out, but there are also times we might have to choose the path of peace and non-violence. The choice we make calls for discernment: whether or not it will accomplish God’s purpose for his kingdom and for us.

Kar Yong Lim

Bible in a year

Read the Bible in a year.

Numbers 22,23

Psalm 30

Speak Lord

How does your life reflect that of God’s Servant, Jesus?

Listen to these words that describe him. In the pauses, ask God to speak to you about your own living for him in today’s world.


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The Cross has said it all – Matt Redman (from Ps 103)
Matt Redman & Martin Smith
Copyright © 1995 Thankyou Music

He is good
Kate Cooke
© 2009 Vineyard Records (UK/Eire)

  • Alan Pang | Wednesday, 07 March 2018

    Here is my Servant in whom I delight. I will put my Spirit on him. In His name the nations will put their hope. Lord, please show your glory to the nations today!

  • Alan Pang | Wednesday, 07 March 2018

    Here is my Servant in whom I delight. I will put my Spirit on him. In His name the nations will put their hope. Lord, please show your glory to the nations today!

  • Alan Pang | Wednesday, 07 March 2018

    Here is my Servant in whom I delight. I will put my Spirit on him. In His name the nations will put their hope. Lord, please show your glory to the nations today!

  • Angela Munday | Thursday, 08 March 2018

    God is alpha and omega and His goodness toward His creation is our gift as we seek His reign in our hearts and honour Him and others with our love. We begin and end in the hope that love will unite us with God and others........"Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing wider, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller or better in heaven or earth."

  • Ruth Chisholm | Thursday, 08 March 2018

    "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8 NIV "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Colossians 3:23‭-‬24 NIV God knew where his calling was taking him, and so do we, into the eternal arms of our Heavenly Father. When the pressure seems all around us and we struggle to see work, family life etc as our calling, I find these verses a timely reminder, it's no accident where God has placed us, glorify His name in all we do.

  • Roger Hall | Thursday, 08 March 2018

    God showed us the Lovely utterly humble Son. Wouldn't even break a reed in Anger. Yet He didn't hesitate to heal all sick! So I went to a funeral yesterday, more a civic duty. God, I think, appeared in part of the Eulogy. Then came a ghastly prayer, where the awful truth about heaven was displayed: Light Perpetual, one equal light, one equal music...blah blah. This was a real self-made man. He was most talented and used his talents and wore himyself out in service. I thought that perhaps someone on WL may know how these words have crept into the Church of England.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Thursday, 08 March 2018

    Thank you Father that Jesus came to minister grace and truth. The living Word of Almighty God is the only power strong enough to discipline our flesh. It's the only power that can cause us to think, look, talk and act like born-again disciples.

  • Peter Moore | Thursday, 08 March 2018

    I'm really missing Rachel from Australia... Your comments have been a blessing. So I hope that you are well.

  • Philippa Linton | Thursday, 08 March 2018

    Roger … was the prayer you heard this one? “Bring us, O Lord God, at our last awakening into the house and gate of heaven, to enter into that gate and dwell in that house, where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light; no noise nor silence, but one equal music; no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession; no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity: in the habitations of thy majesty and glory, world without end.” John Donne (1571 - 1631) He was the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, and a great poet and preacher.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Thursday, 08 March 2018

    Beautiful prayer PHILLIPPA. And we can prefix with " Thank you O Lord God that you "

  • Lynda Spencer | Thursday, 08 March 2018

    I read an amazing, encouraging and affirming book some years ago by Max Lucado. The book is called 'He Still Moves Stones' and is based on the verse from Isaiah 42:3 which is quoted here in Matthew 12:20 - "A bruised reed He will not bend and a smouldering wick He will not snuff out." If anyone is interested you can read the first chapter as a taster. As someone who was once a smouldering wick, hanging on to faith with gritted teeth, I can testify to the refreshing blessing that this book can be. It was like water in a thirsty desert to my battered soul at a time I needed it most. I pray it might be a blessing to anyone who needs it right now.

  • Eileen Smith | Thursday, 08 March 2018

    Thank you from me too PHILIPPA— my English tutor at college introduced us to John Donne — think maybe that with mention of his prayer — thank you ROGER — now’s the time for me to renew his acquaintance .LYNDA, thanks to you for the link to Max Lucado.I think it might be what I need just now

  • Barbara Sabin | Thursday, 08 March 2018

    He gives us all Spiritual Gifts that the Church may be built up To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. I Corinthians 12 God sent his Spirit upon us that we might build each other up. When each one of us uses the gift God has given us then His Kingdom will grow..I have read He Still Moves Stones LYNDA I am a Max Lucado reader. There are many times we are bruised and battered God does allow this for us to grow, so often we fight and resist his gracious hand instead of resting in His presence. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand .Psalm 16 v 11 I have a little book entitled Psalms to Sooth a Woman's Heart which I use every day just one Psalm and the beautiful pictures are a real blessing today my heading is Do the Godly have bad days? and the Psalm 38.

  • David Chipchase | Thursday, 08 March 2018

    Rachael is fine. She has a computer issue that is preventing her accessing WL.

  • Eileen Smith | Thursday, 08 March 2018

    LYNDA - found the ML chapter— very helpful— have some of his books but not that one so have kept the link . Good to hear that Rachael is fine- thank,you DAVID- had also wondered about RUTH ( USA) GILVIN- thank y.ou for the prefix to the JD Prayer - my copy of his prayers & sonnets doesn’t seem to have survived a few home moves!

  • Rebecca Huie | Thursday, 08 March 2018

    Such a great conversation this morning. ROGER, I think I understand your feelings about the JD poem used as a prayer. When I hear something that is not in print (in the bulletin or order of worship), I don’t usually grasp it in one hearing. As I read what PHILIPPA has posted, it is much clearer to see it in print. The prayer I suppose is a poetic interpretation of JD’s view of heaven, without citing chapter and verse. GILVIN’S preface gives it even greater impact. All this to say that it would help so much to have prayers, poems, responses, printed in the order of worship, so that we can better assimilate them as we worship. Thanks for sharing the beautiful poem. Blessings to all.

  • Peter Moore | Thursday, 08 March 2018

    so pleased Rachel is ok. God speed the recovery of her computer

  • Peter Moore | Thursday, 08 March 2018

    I have given friends who are not quite believers ML book on psalm 23. I have a copy here to give to a colleague who has just retired. please pray

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Saturday, 10 March 2018

    BARBARA, For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Saturday, 10 March 2018

    BARBARA, For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Saturday, 10 March 2018

    BARBARA, For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth

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