The gentleness of Christ

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust. Matthew 12:17-21

This quotation from Isaiah is fulfilled in the person and work of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It shows us that our Lord, though he is King of kings and Lord of lords who will come and judge his enemies, is also full of mercy, tenderhearted, and gentle. You see it especially in those words, "A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench."

It is the gentleness of Christ that he does not hold our sins against us. Once we are saved and justified and forgiven, the battle for sin has in one sense only begun. The greatest of saints have committed the greatest of sins. One of our problems, I think, is that we can sometimes not only forget how loathsome sin is, but sometimes we can end up only seeing the ugliness of ours sins and convince ourselves that God would never receive us into his arms again.

And we shouldn’t think that God just overlooks this. These things really are grievous to him. God can have “somewhat” against us (cf. Rev. 2:4). And yet, the Scriptures plainly say that if we confess our sins, God will forgive them (1 Jn. 1:7). It doesn’t matter how many times we come to him in genuine repentance, God forgives. This is incredibly difficult for many of us to understand and to grasp because we are all willing to forgive a certain number of times, and then - forget it! But our God is a God of grace and meekness, and for that we ought to be exceedingly thankful.

Jesus does not hold grudges against us. He is not bitter against his people because of their past sin, no matter how great it is. If we repent and in our heart turn away from that which has grieved him, he will receive you again. Think about the church at Laodicea. Our Lord said that their sin was so bad it made him want to throw up (Rev. 3:16). They were “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:17). And yet – our Lord still affirmed his love for them: “As many as I love, I rebuke, and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent.” Then he says this: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:19-20). It’s important for you to realize this because if you don’t believe that, it will keep you from coming back to him. Look, your sin will not keep Christ from receiving you into his fellowship again as long as you are willing to let go of your sin. For we do not serve a hard Savior, but a gentle one, who will not break a bruised reed and who will not quench a smoking flax.

By: Jeremiah Bass