THE PATIENCE OF JESUS
- Jesus, the Servant of God, was born to a poor Jewish family under the rule of a wicked dictatorship. The Roman empire was the closest thing that the earth had seen to a world ruler since the dispersion of the nations at the tower of Babel. This was the rightful place promised to Him by His Father.
- When the Father introduces this attribute of the Messiah in Isaiah, He presents both Jesus’ humility as well as His zeal for justice to be established on the earth. Jesus hates the oppression and wickedness that have taken over the earth since the fall of man. His zeal for justice will fuel His heart with perseverance to completely overthrow the wicked rulers of the earth.
7 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of joy above Your fellows. (Psa 45:7 NASB)
- The meekness of His heart is proof that He can be trusted to accomplish this with absolute tenderness and compassion for the inhabitants of the earth. Even the establishing of His own Kingdom is done with others in mind. He considers others as more important than Himself.
3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; … 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, (Phl 2:3, 5 NASB)
- Jesus is zealous for justice in the nations of the earth, but He is a Servant to these same wicked men that will be overthrown at His coming. His humility is seen in His patience and restraint from bringing the day of vengeance. The Father reveals that though He is zealous to purge the earth from wickedness, He is restraining from lifting His voice against them now.
1 “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. 2 “He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street. 3 “A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish … (Isa 42:1-3 NASB)
- Jesus is so meek towards His enemies that He has set an age of amnesty in which all who believe on Him for their righteousness and repent will be saved from the hour when He returns to establish His Kingdom.
14 “I (i.e. the Servant from verse 1) have kept silent for a long time, I have kept still and restrained Myself. Now like a woman in labor I will groan, I will both gasp and pant. 15 “I will lay waste the mountains and hills And wither all their vegetation; I will make the rivers into coastlands And dry up the ponds. (Isa 42:14-15 NASB)
- Unless we have the meek and lowly heart of Jesus in view, the time of amnesty is very offensive. Because we are so unlike Him, we want to demand justice be established for ourselves and our loved ones now without waiting until the day in which justice is established in righteousness AND in humility.
- John the Baptist was tempted to be offended at this revelation of the Messiah while he was in prison because of his faithful witness to the Messiah’s coming. John, knowing that he would likely be martyred soon unless he is delivered from prison, sent his disciples to confirm that Jesus was the Messiah.
- Jesus answers them with two familiar Messianic passages which confirm that He is the Messiah. After quoting them Jesus addresses John’s offense.
5 the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM. 6 “And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.” (Mat 11:5-6 NASB)
- Jesus is quoting Isaiah 35 and Isaiah 61. Isaiah 35 is a reference to the Messianic role of restoring everything that has been corrupted in the fall. The Messiah is going to heal every blind eye, every deaf ear, cause every mute to speak, and every lame person is going to leap for joy. In addition, to the human body being restored to it’s original glory, the Messiah will also restore creation from it’s state of corruption.
5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. 6 Then the lame will leap like a deer, And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness And streams in the Arabah. 7 The scorched land will become a pool And the thirsty ground springs of water; In the haunt of jackals, its resting place, Grass becomes reeds and rushes. (Isa 35:5-7 NASB)
21 … creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (Rom 8:21 NASB)
- He also quotes Isaiah 61. He is the One upon whom the Spirit of Lord would rest. The Father had anointed Him to bring good news to the poor, to bring liberty to captives, and the bring freedom to prisoners. The fact that Jesus is quoting this to a man who is in prison is very personal to John. He finishes by letting John know that, although He is the One who has been anointed to bring justice to the earth, He is not righting the wrongs and crushing the wicked rulers yet. Thus, John would not be delivered by the Messianic takeover.
6 “And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.” (Mat 11:6 NASB)
- The hope that He will restore all things is essential to our faith in Him. However, His humble heart is still waiting to crush the wicked, establish His Kingdom, and restore creation. He told John that one who can get over this offense will be blessed. This word means ‘happy’. There is great joy when we receive the revelation of Jesus as the Servant who is patient and meek.