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The Servant of the Lord (Matthew 12:15-21)

First Baptist Church https://fbcbartow.org

“The Servant of the Lord”

(Matthew 12:15-21)

Series: God’s Fulfilled Promise [on screen]

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida

July 14, 2019

The Passage

Matthew 12:15-21

15 Jesus was aware of this and withdrew. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them all. 16 He warned them not to make him known, 17 so that what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

18 Here is my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. 

19 He will not argue or shout, and no one will hear his voice in the streets.

20 He will not break a bruised reed, and he will not put out a smoldering wick, until he has led justice to victory.

21 The nations will put their hope in his name.

Introductory Comments:

Do we all remember what is going on in the Gospel of Matthew?

Jesus has grown in fame and popularity. He has healed many. He has taught much. He has cast out demons. He is well known and well loved by many. 

However, Jesus has started to develop an edge to His teaching. He is confronting people head-on for hypocrisy, for not understanding the ways of God, and for not understanding His ministry. 

In last week’s passage, we see Jesus call out the Pharisees for not really understanding the law of God and He stands against their legalism and lack of love. As a result, the Pharisees start to plot against Jesus in order to kill Him. 

We read this in verse 15 of today’s passage, “15 Jesus was aware of this and withdrew. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them all.”

Jesus was aware that the Pharisees wanted Him dead, so He did what many of us would do, He got out of there; He withdrew from the area!

However, even though Jesus was hated by the Pharisees, many people were still fascinated with Him and tried to partake of His miracles and great teaching. 

Matthew said, “Large crowds followed Him.”

Even though Jesus was withdrawing for a reason. Even though Jesus was trying to stick to His mission, these large crowds followed Him and He still healed them. In fact, we see that, “He healed them all.”

Jesus was unique and sometimes hard to figure out. He did things differently. 

We might wonder what would drive Jesus to behave the way that He did. Why is He so unique?

Well, it might interest some of us to know that part of who Jesus would be, how He would behave, and what His mission would be was prophesied long ago by the prophet Isaiah. 

One of the prophecies of Isaiah makes up the bulk of our passage today. 

Let’s go to God in prayer and ask Him to speak to us as we soak in the Word of God. 


Remember, Matthew is writing His Gospel so that we might know that Jesus is the promised prophesied Messiah. 

The passage that we have today contains the largest quotation from the Old Testament in the Gospel of Matthew. So, we ought to pay attention to it. 

From this prophecy and how it is applied to Jesus, we will learn two defining identities of who Jesus is and why He came to the earth. 

Let’s discover first that . . .

I. Jesus is the Servant of God (vv. 15-18) [on screen]

Look at verses 16-18. 

16 He warned them not to make him known, 17 so that what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

18 Here is my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. 

Jesus warned those whom He had healed not to let everyone know where He was. 

You see, Jesus could have just called down an army of angels to take out the Pharisees when they wanted to kill Him. He could have gone around the whole region of Galilee and healed whomever He wanted and killed whomever He wanted, but He didn’t do that. 

He didn’t want to create unnecessary commotion or chatter. He was trying to stick to the reason that He came to the earth. He knew that crazy events would come later but now was not the time. 

Jesus had a mission. He was part of a larger plan. He first came to the earth as a human being who was the servant of God. 

This prophecy from Isaiah long ago spoke to the fact that Jesus would be a servant of God. 

Now, serious students of God’s Word will realize that this prophecy originally seemed to speak to the nation and people of Israel. Indeed, it did speak of the people of Israel. However, as is often the case, this prophecy spoke not just to one thing, but to two. 

You see, prophecies often spoke of Adam and Jesus, or Moses and Jesus, or David and Jesus, or in this case, Israel and Jesus. 

Whereas Israel failed to live as a faithful servant of God, Jesus the Messiah would succeed as God’s faithful servant.

Jesus the Messiah was God’s beloved servant, who was chosen by God for this purpose, who was beloved by God, in whom God delighted, and on whom God’s Holy Spirit would rest. 

This moment, this man, this mission was prophesied long ago and Jesus is living it out in Matthew 12. 

By the way, you can notice all three members of the Trinity present in this prophecy. The Father is speaking about the Son, on whom the Holy Spirit will rest. It’s worth noting that all three are here, not just one or two. All three are divine and present. That’s just a little doctrinal note for you, for free. 

Jesus was the ultimate and perfect servant of God. He was faithful, He was holy, He was completely committed, He was enabled by the Spirit, and He was laser-focused on the mission. 

He is the servant of God.

Also, . . .

II. Jesus is the Savior of sinners (vv. 19-21) [on screen]

As Jesus is being an obedient servant to God the Father, He is doing so by being committed to the mission. 

Central to the mission of Jesus’ coming to the world was saving sinners. We see at the end of verse 18 that Jesus will bring the justice of God. The justice of God would be satisfied chiefly by the righteous life of Jesus and the substitutionary death of Jesus on the cross. The wrath of God towards sin would be satisfied in the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Justice would be served. 

John the Baptist said of Jesus in John 1:29, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” [on screen]

Jesus Himself said in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.” [on screen]

We stopped in the middle of Isaiah’s prophecy on the previous sermon point. Let’s see what else He says about Jesus the Messiah. Look at verses 19-21. 

19 He will not argue or shout, and no one will hear his voice in the streets.

20 He will not break a bruised reed, and he will not put out a smoldering wick, until he has led justice to victory.

21 The nations will put their hope in his name.

This is a continuation of the first point. As the servant of God, Jesus is committed to His mission of saving sinners. 

Jesus is determined to not get sidetracked. He’s not making commotion in the streets. He’s not intentionally trying to draw people to Him. He’s not looking for a showdown with the Pharisees. 

Although people are drawn to Jesus, it’s not because He’s boisterous or arrogant. It’s because He is holy, miraculous, and teaches with authority. 

We also see that Jesus is careful and gentle while He is sticking to His mission. 

We see that a plant (a reed) that is already damaged won’t be broken by Him. A candle wick that is about to go out will not be put out by Him.

Jesus won’t cause any necessary problems, issues, or commotion. Again, He is laser-focused on His mission!

Verse 21 makes it very clear what His mission is: The nations will put their hope in his name.

Why will the nations put their hope in His name? Because He is the only means of salvation!

Remember, in the previous chapter, Jesus said, “No one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal him.” [on screen]

Jesus is the way to the Father. He was prophesied long ago and He came for His people, the people of Israel. He came as their king and their Messiah. 

The beauty of verse 21 is that we see that Jesus did not come only for the Jewish people. 

We learn in verse 21 that “the nations” put their hope in Him. Some of your translations say the Gentiles will put their hope in Him. The point of verse 21, and verse 18, as well, is that the hope Jesus brings is not limited to just the Jewish people. 

The Jewish people were not only wrong about what type of Messiah Jesus would be, they were also wrong about the scope of His Messiahship, and praise God that they were wrong!

Jesus not only brought hope for the people of Israel; He brought hope for the nations!

The gates to the kingdom of God are wide opened for anyone to come to Jesus. Red, yellow, black, white, or brown. Young and old. Man and woman. African, Asian, European, North American, South American, Australian, and even Antarctican. The nations can put their hope in the name of Jesus: the servant of God and the Savior of sinners. 

Jesus is the Savior of sinners!

Concluding Thoughts:

Isaiah’s prophecy reminds us that God promised hope for the world. 

He promised Messiah would come.  

Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecies. Jesus is God’s fulfilled promise. 

Jesus was obedient to the task for which He was sent. He was on mission. 

That takes us to our bottom line. 

Bottom Line: The Father will delight in Jesus; the nations will hope in Jesus.  [on screen]


This was Isaiah’s prophecy and it was fulfilled and is still being fulfilled in Jesus. 

Have you grasped the gravity of this prophecy and the fact that Jesus fulfills it? God intervened in the world for you and for me, that we might find hope in Jesus and His salvation. 

Challenge yourself this week in the following ways:

Weekly Challenge: [on screen]

  1. Consider the servant of God.  [on screen]

Have you thought much about Jesus and His work?

Consider His obedience.  [all together on screen]

Consider His gentleness. 

Consider His death. 

Consider His divinity. 

There’s so much more to consider. Consider the servant of God this week. 

  1. Determine how you will bring the hope of Jesus to the nations.  [on screen]

Jesus brought hope for the nations and we now hold that message of hope. Will you bring it to your family, to your friends, to your neighbors, to your coworkers, to the unreached people groups all over the world? 

Will you pray? Will you give? Will you send? Will you go?

Consider how you will bring hope to the world this week. 


Jesus came focused on the mission, He was saving sinners. He will return again and His mission will be different. He will come to rescue His own and to judge sinners. He came first as a gentle servant offering Himself to satisfy God’s justice. He will come again as a raging king slaying evil and sinners to satisfy God’s justice. 

Have you been saved by the Savior? Have you put your hope in Him?

(Gospel presentation)

(closing prayer)

Invitation Song – The Savior is Waiting


If you have any sort of spiritual decision that you would like to make, you can contact me or our staff and we would be glad to talk to you anytime.

Be sure to pay attention to your bulletin, particularly the two special called business meetings this coming Wednesday. We will have a special called business meeting at 6:00 PM this Wednesday to consider the sale of the property where the Women’s Care Center is located. We will have a second special called business meeting at 6:30 PM (or a little later if the first meeting is not over) to consider a candidate for Director of Worship and Children. You can find a handout on him in your bulletin. You can find precise details in your bulletin about these two meetings. 

I look forward to being with you again tonight at 5:30 for evening worship. We will have a special service tonight where we hear from our South Africa mission team and their recent trip. You’ll want to be here for that. 

Let’s dismiss by singing the Doxology. 

(Sing Doxology)

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