Matthew 12:15–21: Until He Brings Justice to Victory

by Apr 10, 2023Premium, The Gospel of Matthew0 comments

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Right as Jesus seems to gain a little momentum in his ministry, Matthew records that Jesus withdraws from the region where the Pharisees had begun to plot against him (v. 15). How should we view such a setback? How did Jesus understand the reasons for his withdrawal? How do the Scriptures situate Jesus’ withdrawal in the larger context of his ministry? In spite of appearances, Matthew cites Isaiah 42 in order to explain how Jesus’ withdrawal fits in with the purpose for which he had been sent by his Father into the world. Against all outward appearances in this withdrawal, Jesus is still bringing his justice to victory.

Discussion Questions

1. What was Jesus “aware” of that prompted him to withdraw from the area (v. 15)? What had stirred up the murderous hatred of the Pharisees? What does Jesus do as he withdraws from that area? Why does Jesus order those whom he heals not to make him known? What should we make of Jesus’ withdrawal? Is he shrinking in fear from what he is supposed to be doing? If not, then how should we understand his actions?

2. What does the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah tell us about the Father’s attitudes toward Jesus? How does this prophetic passage shape how we should evaluate Jesus’ withdrawal? What should we understand by the description of Jesus as the Lord’s “servant” (v. 18)? What is significant about the fact that the Father puts his Spirit on Jesus? What does it mean that Jesus came to “proclaim justice to the Gentiles”?

3. What does it mean that Jesus will “not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets”? What does it mean that Jesus will not break a bruised reed, or quench a smoldering wick? How does Jesus’ meekness and gentleness ultimately lead him to “bring justice to victory”? What does this tell us about Jesus’ patience as he fulfills all righteousness? How does this lead Gentiles to hope in his name?

4. What is one area of life that discourages you? How does Jesus’ patience in the midst of his suffering help encourage you in your own suffering? How does Jesus’ resurrection from the dead give us confidence in the midst of our trials? How does Jesus’ gentleness and meekness with his people give us confidence and boldness to come to him with our burdens? Where do you need to learn how to hope in him in your life?