‘A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out’ Matthew 12.20
In his Gospel, there comes a point when Matthew pauses to reflect on the nature of
the person about whom he is writing, and he chooses these words from Isaiah that seem to perfectly sum up Jesus. The phrase he uses overflows with the gentleness and kindness of God to those who are in need. Matthew tells us that what Jesus sees so clearly is that hurting people are like bruised reeds, and if this is true the last thing they need is to be broken.
Not only does this describe the way Jesus longs to treat us, but also how he longs to treat others as well. It is so often true that those who need the most love are those who are most unlovable! Whereas we can be quick to condemn and judge because we see the exterior of people, Jesus sees the bruised reed within; and just as he longs to bring the full nature of his gentleness to us, so he longs to bring it to those whom we could so easily dismiss.
If there is someone you are finding very difficult at this time, perhaps God is not looking at the exterior that is hurting you, but at the bruised reed within.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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