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His Life Foretold
Matthew 12:18-21
Skip Heitzig

Matthew 12 (NKJV™)
18 "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 will declare justice to the Gentiles.
19 He will not quarrel nor cry out, Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory;
21 And in His name Gentiles will trust."

New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Jesus: Hope Foretold

If your hope is in politics, policies, people, or possessions, you will be constantly disappointed. The hope that God gave the world, foretold by the prophets, was (and still is) a single, unique person—Jesus Christ. Of all the predictions made about what He would be and do, Matthew highlighted a few. Jesus wouldn’t fit all the misplaced expectations that people had of Him, but He would fulfill the commission His Father gave Him. Let’s look at four tasks Jesus would perform at His first coming as foretold by the prophet.

There was a time when we only knew in part, but now we have a promise we can fully know—a promise made by the prophets and declared by angels. This promise is Jesus, foretold from creation and revealed to us in these last days. In this series, Skip Heitzig focuses on the prophecies of Jesus' first coming, culminating in the celebration of Christmas.

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  1. He Came to Serve (v. 18)

  2. He Came to Speak (v. 18)

  3. He Came to Strengthen (vv. 19-20)

  4. He Came to Save (vv. 20-21)

Study Guide

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Connect Group Recap: December 13, 2015
Teacher: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: His Life Foretold
Text: Matthew 12:18-21


If your hope is in politics, policies, people, or possessions, you will be constantly disappointed. The hope that God gave the world, foretold by the prophets, was (and still is) a single, unique person—Jesus Christ. Of all the predictions made about what He would be and do, Matthew highlighted a few. Jesus wouldn't fit all the misplaced expectations that people had of Him, but He would fulfill the commission His Father gave Him. Let's look at four tasks Jesus would perform at His first coming as foretold by the prophet.
    1. He Came to Serve (v. 18)
    2. He Came to Speak (v. 18)
    3. He Came to Strengthen (vv. 19-20)
    4. He Came to Save (vv. 20-21)

He Came to Serve (v. 18):
  • Jesus has been the dominant figure in the history of Western culture for twenty centuries.
  • Though He didn't meet the expectation of people or religious leaders, He did meet His Father's expectations, fulfilling the predictions of the prophets.
  • Some scholars state that Jesus fulfilled some 330 Old Testament prophecies, a mathematically staggering amount.
  • Probe: Read Mark 13:1-23 and 2 Peter 3. Why is fulfilled prophecy—specifically, prophecy about the life of Christ—important to the Christian faith?
He Came to Speak (v. 18):
  • Jesus proclaimed a message of truth and justice.
  • In the four Gospels, the words taught (used thirty-six times) and teacher (used forty-seven times) emphasize this important aspect of Jesus' ministry.
  • Jesus came to speak God's truth to people in bondage to their own ideas. Truth has a way of breaking through religious haze.
  • Probe: Take a moment to discuss what life would be like if Jesus had never come, if His teachings had never penetrated the world. Would hospitals, education, government, etc. be the same? How can Christians proclaim truth and justice in today's world?
He Came to Strengthen (vv. 19-20):
  • Jesus did not come to "quarrel" or "cry out" (v. 19)—to harass, annoy, and yell—but to speak the truth in love, with dignity and control.
  • The phrases "bruised reed" and "smoking flax" (v. 20) refer a used-up pen and candlewick, respectively. Jesus came to seek and restore broken, burned-out people.
  • Jesus won't put your fire out; He'll stoke your fire up. He will strengthen the brokenhearted, fanning into flame the fire of faith.
  • Probe: How has Jesus sparked your faith with His dignity, love, and control? How has Jesus showed Himself strong in your life?
He Came to Save (vv. 20-21):
  • In due time, Jesus will be the victor and establish His kingdom, the new heaven and earth (see Revelation 21).
  • Until then, Jesus will continue to save people. And people are saved through simple faith, trusting in Christ (see Ephesians 2).

Connect Up: What does it tell you about God's character that Christ came to serve, speak, strengthen, and save?

Connect In: In light of the four things that Christ came to do, how are we to treat others in the body of Christ? How does each of these four things take root within the local church?

Connect Out: How does each of the four things Christ came to do influence your outreach to the unbelieving world?

Detailed Notes

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  1. Introduction
    1. Of all the people who have ever lived, no one has impacted and influenced the world like Jesus Christ
      1. His life influenced politicians, missionaries, and explorers
      2. In His name, hospitals were built, philanthropic institutions were founded, and education was spread
      3. Jesus has been the dominating figure in the history of Western culture for twenty centuries
    2. When He came to the earth, He did not meet the expectations people had for Him
      1. He did not meet the expectations of the religious elite who observed Him
      2. He did not meet the expectations of the crowds that followed Him
      3. He did meet the expectations of His heavenly Father who sent Him
      4. He fulfilled all the prophecies that had been made about Him
    3. Matthew 12:9-17
      1. Matthew quoted the prophet Isaiah (see Isaiah 42:1-4)
      2. Isaiah noted four things the Messiah would come to do
  2. He Came to Serve (v. 18)
    1. Jesus was called by many names (see Isaiah 9:6)
      1. He has no fewer than 150 titles mentioned in Scripture
      2. Isaiah used the title Servant four times
    2. Jesus had just healed a man on the Sabbath (see Matthew 12:9-17; Mark 3:1-12; Luke 6:6-19)
      1. Even though Jesus could heal people, He did not meet the religious leaders' expectations of what the Messiah would be like
      2. They thought He would be a servant of their rigid interpretation of the law
    3. After Jesus healed people, He told them not to tell anyone He had done it
      1. He did not want the crowd to turn Him into some revolutionary hero
      2. The crowd expected the Deliverer to forcefully overtake their oppressors
      3. Jesus came to shed His own blood and do the will of His Father (see Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; John 4:34)
    4. He served His disciples (see John 13:1-17)
    5. Jesus served you by taking your place in execution
      1. He came to restore us
      2. He did not come to meet your expectations, but to end your condemnation
    6. Jesus fulfilled prophecies
      1. He would be proceeded by a messenger (see Isaiah 40:3)
      2. He would perform miracles (see Isaiah 35:4-6)
      3. He would enter Jerusalem on a donkey (see Zechariah 9:9)
      4. He would be rejected by the Jewish nation (see Isaiah 53:1-3)
      5. He would come following a precise timetable (see Daniel 9:25-26)
      6. He would be rejected and killed (see Daniel 9:24-25)
      7. He would be sent to heal the brokenhearted (see Isaiah 61:1-2)
      8. He would be praised by children (see Psalm 8:2)
      9. He would be betrayed by a close friend (see Psalm 41:9; Zechariah 11:12-13)
      10. The betrayal money would be returned and used to buy a potter's field (see Zechariah 11:12-13)
      11. He would come as a sacrifice for sin (see Isaiah 53:5-12)
      12. He would be silent when accused during His trial (see Isaiah 53:7)
      13. This is just a sample of all the prophecies written about Jesus that He fulfilled
    7. According to Peter Stoner, the odds that one man in history would fulfill just eight of these prophecies is one in ten to the seventeenth power
  3. He Came to Speak (v. 18)
    1. Apaggelló = to report, announce, declare
      1. One of the most important things Jesus did was speak to people (see Matthew 5:1-2; 13:54; Mark 2:13; 10:1; Luke 20:1; John 8:2)
      2. His priority was to preach the Word (see Mark 2:1-2)
        1. He wanted people to be set free (see John 8:32)
        2. He came to speak God's truth to people in bondage to their own ideas
    2. He came to proclaim the truth to Gentiles
      1. 2,000 years ago, Jews saw the Messiah as purely for the Jewish people
      2. He came to save both Jews and Gentiles (see Genesis 12:3; John 3:16)
  4. He Came to Strengthen (vv. 19-20)
    1. Jesus never annoyed, harassed, or quarreled with people
      1. He was not a political rabble-rouser who stirred up trouble
      2. He never berated or cajoled people
      3. He spoke with dignity and control (see Ecclesiastes 9:17)
    2. Jesus dealt with people whose lives were broken and worn out
      1. The world discarded them
      2. He sought to restore the broken reed and rekindle the smoldering flame
      3. Jesus will not put out your fire but stoke your fire up; He will not toss you away but draw you near (see Matthew 11:28-29)
      4. God chooses the weak things of this world (see 1 Corinthians 1:27)
    3. Most people come to Christ when they are broken
      1. They discover God loves to restore them
      2. In the Scriptures, broken things are actually valuable
        1. Broken pitchers helped Israel win a battle (see Judges 7:13-22)
        2. Broken bread fed a multitude (see Matthew 14:16-21)
        3. A broken flask of perfume was used to anoint Jesus (see Matthew 26:6; Mark 14:13; John 12:3)
        4. Jesus' broken body brought salvation
      3. Imagine what He can do with your broken heart
  5. He Came to Save (vv. 20-21)
    1. Jesus' ultimate victory is won by faith (see Ephesians 2:8; 1 John 5:5)
      1. In other world religions, you must earn your way to God
      2. With Jesus, you just have to trust Him
    2. When you trust, you are saved and belong to Him (see Romans 8:28)
      1. He will be with you as you go through life
      2. He will be with you when life hurts
      3. Romans 10:9
    3. Do you really trust Him?

Figures referenced: William Carey, James Hefley, David Livingstone, Florence Nightingale, Lord Shaftesbury, Peter Stoner, William Wilberforce

Greek words: apaggelló

Cross references: Genesis 12:3; Judges 7:13-22; Psalm 8:2; 41:9; Ecclesiastes 9:17; Isaiah 9:6; 35:4-6; 40:3; 42:1-4; 53:1-3, 5-12; 61:1-2; Daniel 9:24-26; Zechariah 9:9; 11:12-13; Matthew 5:1-2; 11:28-29; 12:9-17; 13:54; 14:16-21; 20:28; 26:6; Mark 2:1-2, 13; 3:1-12; 10:1, 45; 14:13; Luke 6:6-19; 20:1; John 3:16; 4:34; 8:2, 32; 12:3; 13:1-17; Romans 8:28; 10:9; 1 Corinthians 1:27; Ephesians 2:8; 1 John 5:5


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Hello, and welcome to this message from Pastor Skip Heitzig Calvary Albuquerque. As these teachings are shared worldwide, our prayer is the God uses them to draw people to himself. If this message resonates with you, we'd like to know. Email us at And if you'd like to support this ministry financially, you can give online securely at

There was a time when we only knew in part, but now we have a promise that we can fully know, a promise made by the prophets and declared by angels. This promise is Jesus. As we continue the series Jesus Hope Foretold, we look at four tasks he performed at his first coming. Now let's turn our Bibles to Matthew Chapter 12. As Skip begins the message, His Life Foretold.

You look great. Would you turn in your Bibles, please, to the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 12. I trust you brought with you a Bible of some sort. If not, there's one in the seat pocket in front of you, unless you're in the very front row. There are no seats in front of you. But other than that you probably should have access to Matthew Chapter 12. Today there are just over 7 billion people on planet Earth, and I have been told that throughout history, there have been 107 billion people who have lived on this planet.

But I think it's safe to say that of everyone and anyone who has ever lived, no one has impacted the world or influenced the world as much as that one man, Jesus Christ. James Hefley wrote a great piece called One Solitary Life in which he writes, "Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpentry shop until it was 30. Then for three years, he was an itinerant preacher.

"He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled 200 miles from the place he was born. He never did one of the things they usually, accompanied greatness. He had no credentials but himself. While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. He was turned over to his enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves.

While he was dying, his executioners gambled for the only piece of property he had on Earth, his coat. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. 20 long centuries have come and gone, and today he is a centerpiece of the human race and a leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the Armies that ever marched, all the Navies that were ever built, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the Kings that ever reigned put together have not affected the life of man upon the earth as powerfully as this one solitary life."

That one solitary life. It was in his name that explorers like David Livingstone went to Africa, or William Carey to India. In his name, statesmen like William Wilberforce or Lord Shaftesbury fought to abolish slavery. In his name, hospitals were built, philanthropic institutions were founded, education was spread, even that great nurse, Florence Nightingale, called the founder of modern nursing, said that she was inspired by the teachings of Jesus Christ to do what she did.

And other explorers and pioneer doctors and nurses have done the same. Jesus has been the dominating figure of history in Western civilization for over 20 centuries. But when he came to this Earth, he did not meet people's expectations. Do you realize that? He did not meet the expectations of the leaders that saw him, of the religious elite who are observing him. He did not meet their expectations, nor did he meet the expectations of the crowds that followed him.

Now, he didn't meet their expectations, but he didn't meet the expectations of his Heavenly Father, who sent him. And he fulfilled all of the predictions that the prophets made about him. We're doing a little series called Hope Foretold. Last week we looked at Jesus' birth foretold out of Isaiah chapter seven. Today we look at his life foretold. Next week we'll look at and consider his death as foretold by the prophets.

In Matthew chapter 12, Matthew, in observing the life of Jesus but going back to the prophecies of Isaiah, shows us that Isaiah tells his readers that the Messiah, when he comes, will fulfill four tasks in his life. He came to serve. He came to speak. He came to strengthen. And he came to save. Let's look at the text. It's in Matthew chapter 12. Matthew quotes from Isaiah in verse 18, 19, 20, and 21, but for the sake of context, to get the flow of the story, let's go back to verse nine where we read, "When he had departed from there, he went into their synagogue.

"And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand, and they asked him, saying, is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, that they might accuse him. And then he said to them, what man is there among you who has one sheep? And if it falls into what they had on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value, then, is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.

"And then he said to the man, stretch out your hand. And he stretched it out and it was restored as whole as the other. Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against him how they might destroy him. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew from there. And great multitudes followed him and he healed them all, yet he warned them not to make him known, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah, 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 will declare justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel nor cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and smoking flax he will not quench. Until he sends forth injustice to victory, and in his name Gentiles will trust."

So Matthew is quoting the Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, who looked into the future from his time and saw the coming one, the Messiah, the deliverer, and notes four different tasks that he will perform. First, when he would come, he would come to serve. Notice in verse 18, quoting Isaiah, "Behold my servant, whom I have chosen." Now probably most of you know that in the Bible there are many different names by which Jesus is called. Isaiah, himself, said his name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

He is called the Bread of Life, the Good Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd, the Messiah, the Cornerstone, the High Priest. He has given no less than 150 different titles in the scripture. But the very favorite title of Isaiah the Prophet is this one mentioned here. Isaiah mentions of four times. He is the servant of the Lord. Quoting here from Isaiah chapter 42 verses 1 through four. "The servant of the Lord, chosen by God to perform a task." The servant. He will come to serve.

Let me give you a little context. Jesus has been out in the grain fields on the Sabbath and the Pharisees have been watching him. After that the Lord goes into the synagogue for the synagogue service, the Sabbath service, and while he's there there's a man who is crippled in one of his arms. In Luke's gospel, we're given more information that says, "And they watched him closely to see if he would heal that they might find an accusation against him."

So it's the Sabbath, the leaders see this crippled guy, and they go, oh this is perfect. Because we know that Jesus has this soft spot in his heart for people like this. I bet Jesus will want to heal this guy. And if he does, we can bust him because it's the Sabbath Day. Because you're not supposed to heal on the Sabbath. Hello? When did you guys ever heal anybody, Sabbath or not?

But see what I want you to see is how that Christ, even though he could heal people, he did not meet the leader's expectations of what the Messiah would be. They thought this Messiah, when he comes, he will be a servant of the law. That is their rigid interpretation of the law. But now Isaiah said he'll be a servant of the Lord. He'll speak the truth the Lord wants them to speak, that his father sent him to speak. They'll come to strengthen people and to save people.

And so Jesus healed the man. He left the synagogue. Several people follow him. Crowds are gathered around him, and it says Jesus healed them all. And then he gave the most unusual command. He goes don't tell anybody. That'd be hard to do, wouldn't it? If you have been sick all your life, and suddenly you're healed, and you get told don't tell anybody. This is like the best news of my life I'm going to tell everybody.

But the reason he said, don't tell them about me being the one to do it isn't because he's afraid of the consequences of what he has done as much as he doesn't want the crowds to turn him into some revolutionary hero. Because, you see, not only did the leaders have an expectation that he would be this rigid servant of the law, but the crowd had their expectation. This deliverer is going to be forceful. He's going to overtake our enemies, our oppressors maybe even shed Roman blood. That's what they expected.

But Jesus didn't come to show Roman blood. Jesus came to shed his own blood. Jesus came not meeting their expectations, but he came to serve the will of a father that sent him. Jesus even said in John 4, my food is to do the will of him that sent me and to finish his work. So he came as the perfect servant of the Lord. Not only that, when he came, he served people. Jesus said, the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.

And while he was on the earth, he served his disciples. He broke bread with them. He taught them truth. He washed their feet at the Last Supper. And I think it could be said that Jesus came to serve you. Not by giving you everything you ever wanted. Not by always making you feel comfortable, or healing every disease, or making sure you get a parking space at the mall during Christmastime. He came to serve you by taking your place in execution.

You and I deserve death for the sins we have committed against a holy, righteous, perfect god. Jesus came to take that punishment, to make his life a ransom for many. So he didn't come to meet your expectation. He came to end your condemnation. The perfect servant of the father, fulfilling the predictions of the prophets, one by one. You remember last week in our study, I said that of all of the books in the world the 26 some-odd books that people say are holy scripture further different religions, that they're all missing an important element, and that is fulfilled prophecy. Detailed, fulfilled, predictive prophecy.

The Bible is full of it. Those books are absent of it. As an example, the Bible says when the Messiah comes, God's chosen one, that he will be preceded by and messenger. Isaiah chapter 40, that speaks of John the Baptist. But he will perform miracles, Isaiah 35. That he will enter Jerusalem riding a donkey, Zachariah chapter 9 verse 9. That he will be rejected by the Jewish nation, Isaiah 53 one through three. But he'll come at the very precise timetable of God his father, to the very day, Daniel 9, 26 and 26.

He will be rejected and killed, Daniel 9 24 and 25. He'll be sent to the broken hearted, Isaiah 61. He'll be praised by children, Psalm 8. He'll be betrayed by a close friend, Psalm 41 9 and Zechariah 11. The money of the betrayal will be returned and used to buy a potters field, Zechariah 11. He will come as a sacrifice for sin, Isaiah 53. And he will be silent when accused during his trial, also Isaiah chapter 53 verse 7.

Now I just gave you a sampling. I gave you 12 predictions. 12 predictions made in advance, hundreds of years before he was ever born, before he ever came. But in his life he fulfilled them. Some years ago a great book was put out called Science Speaks by Dr. Peter Stoner, a mathematician, who decided to give the statistical, mathematic probability of one man in history fulfilling the predictions the Jesus fulfilled. Now, I quoted you 12. It is thought the Jesus fulfilled over 300 of them.

According to Dr. Stoner, the odds of one man in history fulfilling just eight predictions that Jesus fulfilled is one in 10 to the 17th power. That's just a number to most people, but if you look at it visually, this is what it would mean. You could take that many silver dollars, 10 to the 17th power, you could fill the state of Texas two feet deep with silver dollars. According to Dr. Stoner, if you were to paint one preselect a silver dollar in advance, place it somewhere in that stack in Texas, blindfold someone, and send them in to find the one silver dollar you have pre-picked would be one in 10 to the 17th power. That's fulfilling eight predictions.

Then Stoner says, for one man in history to fulfill 16 of the predictions that Jesus fulfilled, well you need more real estate than Texas. You need a planet . Made out of silver dollars, the planet being so big that the measurement of that planet from the center to the edge would be the distance of the earth to the sun times 30. So imagine this huge gigantor silver ball, so big that from the center to the edge it is 93 million miles times 30.

Paint a silver dollar, send someone in to find it. The odds it he could do it would be one in 10 to the 45th power, or the odds of one man in history fulfilling 16 of the predictions Jesus made. Now, I give you 12. Not eight, not 16, 12. So we're somewhere between Texas and that silver ball. The point being that when Jesus came, and he lived on this earth, and he did what he did, he fulfilled the will and the plan of his father, and the predictions of the prophets. So he came to serve.

Second, Isaiah noted, he came to speak. Look at verse 18 once again. "Behold my servant whom I have chosen. My beloved in who my soul is well pleased," the father said that when Jesus was baptized at the Jordan. "I will put my spirit upon him and he--" notice this-- "will declare justice to the Gentiles." He came to speak. The word declare, [GREEK] in Greek, means to proclaim, to announce, to tell, or to preach. He will come and preach a message of truth. He will declare.

Of the many activities that Jesus did while he was on the earth, whether it's healing, or praying, or ministering to disciples or crowds, of all the activities he did, one of the most important things he did, and probably that took the bulk of this time, is he spoke. Words. Messages. Parables. He spoke to people. In Luke chapter 20, summing it all up in verse one, it says he taught the people and he preached the gospel.

And we read this over and over again. He goes to the synagogue and the Bible says he taught them. He went down to the Sea of Galilee, got in a boat and the crowds gathered, and he taught them, the scripture says. He goes to the temple in Jerusalem on Solomon's porch and crowds gather around him, and he taught them. The multitudes go out to him and he taught them.

But one of the most striking places that shows us that this was such a priority to Jesus is in Mark's gospel, chapter two. Christ is in Capernaum where his headquarters is. It says he goes into the house-- I can only surmise that it's Peter's house because he was staying with Peter. And we're told this-- "when he went into the house many gathered together so there was no longer room to receive them." It's a packed house.

"Not even near the door--" so it's spilling out now into the courtyard. Listen-- "and then he preached the word to them." And he preached the word to them. Wait, wait, wait, wait. You got this big crowd of people streaming out the door, peaking in the windows. People with a variety of needs, most of them poor, some in deep poverty, many with incurable diseases and the first thing you do is preach the word to them?

Uh-huh. Now you're getting his priority system. You see, in the Gospels, the four Gospels, Jesus is said to teach 36 different times. He is called a teacher 47 times. Why? Why is this so important to him? Well, he said it himself. Listen to what he said. "And you shall know the truth, and the true shall--

Set you free.

--set you free." You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. Jesus came to speak God's truth, to free people who are in bondage to their own ideas. For a long time I have told you my concern, and it's a growing concern for the church, that, especially in the modern church, there seems to be this tendency, this emphasis toward pure emotion, pure passion. Be passionate about it.

And so you have people who are high on zeal but short on facts. And Jose of the prophets said, my people perish for lack of knowledge. Paul said to Timothy, until I come give attention to doctrine, to teaching, to act exhortation, because, you see truth, biblical truth, has a way of cutting through the haze and letting people see Jesus as he is, clearly. Came to serve. He came to speak, and notice to whom he came to speak. He will declare, preach, pronounce, justice to the Gentiles.

You know what a Gentile is? It's somebody who's not a Jew. You know Why this is exciting to me? Because I am Gentile. And so are most you all. There's a few of you who are probably converted Jewish people who serve Jesus as your messiah, but most of us fit into this category of Gentiles. Now, here's why this is exciting. Because the Jewish mind, 2,000 years ago, saw the Messiah as purely Jewish for the Jewish people. They got it partly right.

He was a Jewish messiah for the Jewish people, but also for the Gentiles. That's where the church comes in. He would say Jew and Gentile and bring us together, into his called out one. His group. He will speak to the Gentiles. For God so loved the Jews-- that he gave-- oh, did I just misquote that? Yeah, sorry. For God so loved the Gentiles-- no, for God so loved the world. Jew, Gentile, everyone, every color, that he gave his only begotten son.

God said to Abraham in the Old Testament in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. That's the reason the gospel didn't just go to Jerusalem. It went to a Samaritan woman. It went to a Roman soldier. And it went to you. He came to serve. He came to speak. There's a third thing he came to do, according to Isiah the prophet noted by Matthew, he came to strengthen. That's what verse 19 and 20 are about. "He will not quarrel, nor cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. "A bruised reed he will not break, and smoking flax he will not quench until he sends forth justice to victory."

Now let me unravel this for you. Because to most of is reading this, it just sounds like, huh? I don't quite get it. So there are some word pictures I want you to get. First of all, it says, "He will not quarrel." It means he won't harass, or annoy. Jesus never annoyed people. He never harassed them. He will not quarrel. Notice the next words, "He will not cry out," Means to shout, or scream, excitedly. It's a Greek word used of dogs to keep barking over and over again.

Do you have a neighbor like that? Maybe they think they have a neighbor like that. Maybe that's your dog. You know, that dog just keep yelping and barking. That's the idea. He won't quarrel. He won't cry out. In other words, he will not be a political rabble rouser. He won't push himself on people. He won't be there to stir up trouble. You know, Jesus never berated people, or cajoled people. He never stood on a rock and said, you're going to hell.

He spoke with such dignity, such control. Ecclesiastes nine tells us, "The quiet words of a wise person are better than the shouts of a foolish king." But then look at verse 20, "A bruised reed, he will not break." Reeds were used in ancient times. Papyrus reeds were used for making pens so you could write, making flutes so people could make music on. Sometimes reeds were sewn together to make mats for people to sleep on or walk on.

But whenever a reed got either softened or too brittle, it was broken off and thrown out. It was discarded. And then notice a smoldering flax, or a smoking flax, now that's a wick, you know when you light a candle and there's a little wick sticking out of it? In ancient times they didn't have wax, they just had oil lamps with a little piece of flax or a wick into the oil. And it would burn down, and when it got just down to the stub and it was about to smolder, you just pick it up and throw it away.

So here it says, "A bruised reed he will not break, smoking flax he will not quench." This is a reference to people that Jesus would deal with, lives that are broken or worn out. The world would discard them. The Pharisees thought that weak people were not even worth their time. The Romans could care less about them. Discard them. Throw them away. But not Jesus. He'll seek to restore the broken reed. He'll seek to rekindle the smoldering flame. Jesus will not put your fire out. He will only stoke your fire up.

Jesus will not toss you away. He will take you in. He will take you near. Do you remember his words? Do you member is promise? "Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden. I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls." This is the Christ who strengthens people who are beat up by life. The kind of people that would be discarded by the world.

Jesus said you're just my kind. Don't forget Paul said that that's God's choice, that God has chosen the weak things, the insignificant things, the despised things. That's God's choice. He takes the smoldering person, he fans them into flame until their faith is strong. He came to strengthen. By the way, I've made an observation over the years about people who come to Christ. My observation is that more people come to Jesus in a time of crisis than almost any other way. Oh sure, some will come because they're intellectually persuaded, but very few.

Some will come because they're in love with the promises of God. Others will come because they realize there's a hole in their own soul, they're not fulfilled in living the way they have been living, and so they want that satisfaction. But by and large, most people come when they're broken, bruised by life. Whether it's through a divorce, or a disease, or a breakup, or finances, they come in their weakness. And they discover Jesus dispenses strength.

They come in their brokenness and they ~ here's somebody who likes to restore old junk. He did want the new car, he restores the '57 Chevy because that's a classic. He likes to restore that which is broken. By the way, do a study some time on broken things in the Bible. See how valuable they really are. Broken pots, in Judges seven, won a battle for the children of Israel. Broken bread, in Matthew 14 fed a multitude. A broken flask of alabaster by a woman, filled the room with fragrance and blessed even Jesus.

The broken body of Christ brought salvation. Imagine what he can do with your broken heart. When you give it to him, he'll strengthen it. He'll infuse life into it. He'll take that little smoldering flame, that little spark, fan it into a fire. He came to serve. He came to speak. He came to strengthen. And finally number four he came to save. Look at the end of verse 20 into verse 21.

"Until he sends forth justice to victory, and in his name the Gentiles will trust." Yes eventually Jesus will win. Eventually, he'll be the victor. But this will be a victory won by simple faith. "By grace you have been saved," Paul said, "through faith." First John chapter five verse five, "And this is the victory that has overcome the world, even your faith." Simple trust in him. Trusting Jesus, coming to him, is not like the religious world. In the religions of this world, you have to earn your way to God or pray your way to God, or sweat your way to God, or make a pilgrimage somewhere to find God.

But with Jesus you just got to trust your way to God. You just trust him. I trust you. You did the work for me. You died on the cross. You paid for my sins. You did it all. And I trust you for that. And when you trust, you are saved. You belong to him, and that means tell keep you. And that means he'll be with you when life hurts. And that means that all things will work together for your good. And that means he'll get you from Earth to heaven, just because you trust him.

The classic verse is Romans 10 verse nine-- "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart to God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." In his name, Gentiles trust. Question. Do you trust him? Do you really trust him? Somebody will say, well, if I ever really need him, I'm sure he'll be there to bail me out. Newsflash. You do need him. Not if I need him. You do need him. 24/7.

This idea of he'll bail me out if I need him. It's like, I have really good parachute. Man, it's cool. Look at my parachute on my back. How cool that is. It's one thing to acknowledge the greatness of a parachute. It's another thing to jump out of the plane. That's when you know it works. My challenge is jump out of the plane. And trust his everlasting arms. Rest in him. I got a Christmas card from a gal. I'm going to read it you. It's a woman who really believes.

She said, "Dear Pastor Skip, we listen to your radio broadcast here in California. We have lived through much joy in our marriage, 62 years," she says, "of marriage. And some sad times, and some losses. Two daughters, one who died at 43 years old of cervical cancer, leaving three children, and one daughter, age 52, who died of liver cancer, plus a granddaughter that hung herself because her mom died."

But she writes, "But we have never despaired knowing that God is in everything, and true in his love, even when I laid in a hospital in a coma from a lung infection. Our life is in Jesus, and our witness is in his love, always." And then she ended with this, "I never wrote a pastor a card before. I hope I didn't say too much." I closed that card and said, are you kidding? You said exactly what needed to be said.

And what she said is that trusting in the God really works. Take it from a woman who has lived into old age, through 62 years of marriage, through losing two children and a granddaughter, through going through maladies in the hospital herself, she saying trusting in God really works. It really works. He came to serve. He came to speak. He came to strengthen. He came to save. In his name, Gentiles will trust.

Father thank you that in your heart, long before the event of Bethlehem ever happened, you knew you would send your son. He was your chosen one, your servant, the one in whom you would delight. Sent from heaven to earth on a mission, to serve, to speak. And when he spoke, they were words of truth. There were sometimes words people didn't want to hear, but with such dignity, and such control, he spoke and challenge the crowds. And his words challenge us today.

But he also came to strengthen, and how we love that. Jesus would never put out a smoldering wick, but fan us into flame until we burn bright. Nor break off the reed and discard it, but restore that which is broken and bruised. And if we just trust in you, we'll win the victory. Thank you for the gospel. Thank you for the good news.

Finally, father, we pray as we close this time together on this beautiful snowy morning we have enjoyed, we're reminded of your promise that though our sins be as scarlet, you'll make them as pure white as snow. You'll cover up all the darkness of the ground with something brilliant, and delightful. Pure.

As we're closing in prayer, if you've come here this morning and you don't know the Lord personally. You've come with another family or a friend. You've come out of curiosity. You've come because it is the season that many are celebrating. You come out of a broken heart. You feel bruised. You feel like your flame's about to go out. You've come to the right place, because you've come to the right one. And that is Jesus, who will take you as you are, forgive you of your past, give you hope in the present and for the future, and fan your life into a bright flame for his glory.

If you've never given your life to Christ before, even if you've been a religious person and you've gone to church all your life, but you've never surrendered your life to Jesus personally, or maybe you've walked away from him and you need to come back home and be restored, in just a moment, I'm going to give you an opportunity to get up out of your seat and come stand here. Lord thank you for this time. In Jesus' name, amen.

Hey, let's all stand. The lights are down, I can't see hands if they went up because of that, so as we sing this final song, wherever you are, if you're in the balcony, you're in the back of the room, you're in the middle of the room, you're in the family room-- I actually saw people sitting outside-- can you believe that? I wanted to go, what are you nuts? Sorry if you're outside and I just said that, but no matter where you are, if you want to come to Christ, I'm inviting you to get up from where you're standing, find the nearest aisle. Walk down the aisle, and stand right here where I'm going to lead you in a word of prayer to receive Christ. You don't have to wait to see a raised hand or for me to see a raised hand, you just come and let me pray with you. Give your life to Christ. Just come right up to the front as we sing.


Could we get the lights up a little bit, please?


You come. I know there's more of you. We'll wait for you.


I know that making a decision, you are wrestling with thoughts in your mind. I know how that works. If you're thinking this through and you're thinking maybe I'll do it maybe I'll do it later. You know, you might say I won't do it now, you're saying, essentially, no to Jesus right now. You're saying no to him.

Say yes to him. If you're wrestling with those choices, make, the right choice. What have you've got to lose? You have everything to gain. If I'm right, you have everything to gain, and you have absolutely nothing to lose. So some of you have been wrestling with this for a long time, and people have come forward already. In fact I mentioned somebody was sitting outside, she came, right here. She was sitting outside, she came through the doors, and she's standing up here.

So forgive me. You're not nuts. This is the sanest choice you could make. Anybody else? We're going to sing this through another time. You come. You give your life to Jesus. This is your opportunity. Don't walk out the door unless you've made peace with God.


For those of you who have come forward, whether you were in the family room, or outside, or inside. You're up here now. This is a holy moment. You're giving your life to Jesus. You're giving it back to God. God made you, gave you life, and now you're saying, here's my life that you gave me in the first place. I want to serve you for the rest of my life. So I'm going to pray. I'm going to lead you in a prayer. I'm going to ask you to pray loud. Say this prayer out loud after me. Say it from your heart as you give your life to him.

Let's pray. Say, "Lord, I give you my life. I know that I'm a sinner. Please forgive me. I believe in Jesus. I believe that he died on a cross for me. I believe he rose from the dead for me. I turn from my sin. I turn to Jesus as my Savior. I want to live for him as my Lord. In Jesus' name, Amen."


Through his son, Jesus, God extended his salvation to anyone who will receive him. That's the best news we could share this holiday season. How will you spread this joyful message? Let us know. Email And just a reminder, you can give financially to this work at Thank you for joining us this teaching from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albuquerque.

Additional Messages in this Series

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A Birth Foretold
Isaiah 7:14
Skip Heitzig
Message Summary
The birth of Jesus Christ provided the world with hope. That exceptional nativity would lead to His perfect life, His atoning death, His bodily resurrection, and His eventual return to rule the world. As we begin this short series leading up to Christmas titled Hope Foretold, we first consider the prediction of His birth. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, God was providing the world with three gifts: He gave us a sign, a Son, and a Savior. Let’s see why that matters.
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His Death Foretold
Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Skip Heitzig
Message Summary
To foretell someone’s death seems morbid and macabre—unless that someone’s death will bring life to the world. The prophet Isaiah predicted the virgin birth, the sinless life, and the atoning death of the Son of God. Jesus Christ is the personification of hope for all who receive Him; He is Hope Foretold. In this section of Scripture, we are on holy ground as we muse over the prediction of the death of our great Sin-Bearer. (See Revelation 13:8.)
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His Kingdom Foretold
Isaiah 9:6-7
Skip Heitzig
Message Summary
This past month, we have seen that Jesus is the personification of hope. He is Hope Foretold. The prophets predicted His birth, His life, and His death. They also looked far ahead into the future and predicted His reign. In preparation for our next series on end-time events, let’s take a peek into the prophets' forecast of the future reign of Christ as King of the world He created.
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There are 3 additional messages in this series.
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