06 January 2013

Then the Pharisees called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus.

But Jesus knew what they were planning. So he left that area, and many people followed him. He healed all the sick among them, but he warned them not to reveal who he was. This fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah concerning him:

“Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen.
   He is my Beloved, who pleases me.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
   and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
He will not fight or shout
   or raise his voice in public.
He will not crush the weakest reed
   or put out a flickering candle.
   Finally he will cause justice to be victorious.
And his name will be the hope
   of all the world.”

This passage is all about hope. The hope that someone will come along that will not follow the violence of the world. That someone will come and show us a better way.

Here we see that the “nations” - and for us that means everyone who doesn’t follow this type of “justice” - will put their hope in that person. Why? Because that person will not be like everyone else. The “justice” this person brings is one of nonviolence. In other words, it’s true justice.

Not only will this person “proclaim justice,” but this person will live justice. This person won’t “fight or shout.” This person won’t “crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle.” In other words, this person is so against violence that even everyday acts are seen in terms of violent or nonviolent. And it is because of this way of seeing the world, this way of being, that just the mention of this person’s name will be “the hope of all the world.”

Family, the nations - all of us - are needing this type of hope. When the followers of Jesus resort to the “justice” of the systems of the world, we are not following Jesus. There’s no other way around it. If we are wanting to “win the world for Christ,” then we must act like Christ. We must be Christ. And that means, our justice must be one of nonviolence. The nations have seen “good guys” and, at some point along the way, they start looking like “bad guys.” Their “justice” looks exactly like that of everyone else. So much so, that if we didn’t know who was doing the acts, we wouldn’t be able to tell them apart.

Jesus said, “[Just] as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions” (Matthew 7.20; NLT). So, if our acts of “justice” look like the “justice” of others, what does that tell us?

Matthew stated that Isaiah was talking about Jesus. I like to think that Isaiah was actually talking about anyone who follows that way of being. Isaiah could be talking about you or me. He could be talking about our neighbors. He could be talking about people from a different faith tradition. He could be talking about people with no belief in G_d. Yes, he could even be talking about our “enemies.” For me, Isaiah is painting a picture of people who live a certain way. And those people are “servants” of G_d. They’re “pleasing” to G_d. They’re “beloved” by G_d. Upon those people, G_d’s Spirit dwells.

And those people can be anyone. It is my prayer that we become those people.

In the Love of the Three in One,

Br. Jack+, LC

* Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


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