Matthew 12:17-21 (NRSV)
17 This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah: 18 “Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. 19 He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. 20 He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick until he brings justice to victory. 21 And in his name the Gentiles will hope.”
This verse immediately follows the narrative where Jesus heals the man with the withered hand in the synagogue despite opposition from the religious leaders. It is a declaration of Jesus’ purpose. Hope and justice for the outcasts is the major theme of Jesus’ ministry.
I recently rewatched the PBS six part documentary, “This Far by Faith.” It tracks the power and necessity of the Black faith journey in the United States. The enslaved and disposed rejected the so called “Christian” theology of our oppressors and reimagined and reinterpreted the scriptures for our survival. In fact, I would argue that we better understood the Jesus of the Bible than our oppressors.
It is because we held on to passages like this that we survived. Jesus was chosen for us for justice. It is no wonder why Pew research reports that 75% of Black people report to be Christian. Jesus is still the greatest source of hope we have!
Lord help us to lean on Jesus even in the midst of massive disparities, injustice, and corruption.
Questions for Meditation
Have you ever thought about Jesus being chosen for justice?
How has hope in Jesus helped you to get through tough times?
Now pray God would choose you for justice too!