“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.” Matthew 12:18-21 (NLT)

The Gospel writer Matthew was quoting a prophecy from Isaiah 42:1-4 that described the character and nature of the coming Messiah.  Matthew could recognize that character in Jesus as he followed Him and saw the way He lived and ministered to those around Him, especially in the way Jesus treated him. Being a hated tax collector, Matthew must have been overcome with emotion when Jesus called him!  He immediately left his lucrative business and followed Christ.  His life would never be the same.  Matthew must have thought, “How can God accept me when everyone around me despises me?”  Truth be told, Matthew no doubt may have despised himself.  “How could I stoop to such a position supporting the Roman oppression to make a living against my own people?”  By now, the thought of being accepted by his fellow Jews must have been out of the question. But, then, came Jesus.  He was so different.  He did not fight or shout or even raise His voice at Matthew like the others did.  He saw deeper into Matthew’s heart and felt his longing to be accepted and loved, to be redeemed.  It’s the same need that you and I have today.  Even when we feel unlovable, God loves us!

Matthew experienced the acceptance and love that Isaiah described of God’s chosen Servant.  His character was gentle, yet just.  Jesus spoke the truth in love, unlike the other religious leaders.  Though Matthew felt broken and bruised, and no doubt burnt out on religion, Jesus didn’t step on His emotions or toss him aside as irredeemable.  He invited Matthew, a tax collector, to follow Him!  Incredulous!  Truly, this must be the Messiah that Isaiah predicted would come; one who would not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle! 

Maybe you feel like a weak read or a flickering candle. You’re broken and bruised, perhaps from bad choices, and you feel useless.  God is not out to step on you or toss you aside.  He’s calling you today.  He has a hope and future for you with purpose just as He did Matthew.  Let Him gently pick you up and heal your broken heart.  It’s time to begin again!