Church of Christ
Locks Cross Roads
Jesus' authority and task
I will put my Spirit upon him (Matthew 3:16; Luke 3:22; John 1:32-33). Thus, the literal fulfillment of this prophecy
took place at His public anointing as God's Messiah (see Matthew 3:16-17, Isaiah 11:1-2, Isaiah 61:1). From the
point of view of the Jews not yet able to comprehend the incarnation, this promise is essential to guarantee the
unquestionably divine authority of the coming Prophet. It has to do with all that is affirmed of Him. But this
inspiration is not merely incarnation; because, besides Paul's telling us that Jesus divested Himself of equality with
God to take upon Himself the form of a servant (Philippians 2:5-11), Peter also asserts that the Lord went about
doing what He did under the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38). It is Jesus alone who "has the seven Spirits of
God" (Revelation 3:1), the power of God without measure (John 3:34). Jesus claimed to have this power of the
Spirit (Luke 4:18-21), and His whole life was that claim's highest demonstration.
And He shall declare judgment to the Gentiles. Judgment signifies "the act of judging," "the result of judging,"
"justice, right, acquittal," or "righteousness (when seen as the sum total of one's judgments, his character.)" This
comes from the actual message that the Christ actually taught. For the Jewish parochialism, judgment meant that in
the Kingdom of the Messiah the Gentiles would: (1) be completely annihilated, (2) punished and subjugated to the
Jewish Messiah and His people; or (3) converted to Judaism.
To the Gentiles: what a contrast to the Jewish exclusiveness, theirs would keep Gentiles from ever getting real
justice. By contrast, Isaiah had revealed that the Messiah alone is qualified by God's Spirit to deal out true justice to
the pagan nations.
Although Jesus is certain of His divine call, and brings to the nations the highest and best, His manner of appearing
is nevertheless quiet, gentle and humble. This is the very opposite of those lying teachers, who exalt themselves by
noisy demonstrations. He does not seek His own, therefore denies Himself; He brings what commends itself,
therefore requires no forced trumpeting.
In what character are we to see this symbolic reed? Perhaps the solution is not so much to be found in precisely
determining which use of the word best describes the service to the owner, as in the recognition that the main
feature of all uses is its instrumentality in his hands. Further, it is very likely that the bruised reed and the smoking
flax will be parallel ideas. It may be flax linen or something made of them. Here the application is to a lamp wick that
is smoldering. These metaphors describe the unfortunate, down-trodden, suffering humanity in contrast to the
proud, self-sufficient, self-serving great of earth who have no need of God. Ironically, it has always been the
bruised reeds, those who confess themselves no better than a smoking flax that have really turned to Jesus for
help, confiding their trust in Him, leading them to admit their failure and seek His transforming power. Those who
view themselves as the brilliant, the powerful, wise, beautiful people have very little motive to come to Jesus for help.
Whether the pagans realized it or not or whether the Jews wanted it or not, Christ was to be the hope of the world!