A Bruised Reed He Will Not Break
Reeds belong to the Poaceae (grass) family of plants. They grow along the muddy banks of streams or on the sandbars of marshes and wetlands. The stalks are generally tall with long, narrow leaves growing in needle-like patterns. With hollow stems and healthy root systems, they can spread in dense, extensive stands. Flowers bloom in brush-like panicles that sway and shimmy in the sunlight and breezes, seemingly in a dance that is a delight to behold in the wilderness. Our Lord Jesus Christ once asked the Jews, “What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind?” (Luke 7:24) Yet the stems of reeds are thin and fragile, and cannot be used as canes for support. Once broken, they lose their appeal. The prophet Isaiah described people as bruised reeds that no longer have value and are ignored, but Jesus Christ, the righteous servant chosen by God, is full of compassion and love for us. “A bruised reed He will not break.” (Isaiah 42:3)
The Son of God came to earth to preach the Gospel to the poor, so that those ransomed by sin could be set free, the blind could see, sickness could be healed, demons could be driven away, the oppressed could have freedom, and all who are in sorrow could be comforted. He cared and felt for those whose bodies and souls were oppressed and wounded. The eight miracles specifically recorded by John illuminate the great “unremitting” love that Jesus Christ has for us.
1. The first miracle Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee was to turn six stone jars of water into good wine, so that the joy of the wedding feast would not be interrupted, and people were amazed that the wine served later was better than the wine served before (John 2:1-11).
2. In Capernaum, He sympathized with the anxiety of a father concerned for his offspring, and healed the gravely ill son of a royal official, so that a person whose life would soon be terminated could receive new life (John 4:46-54).
3. At the Bethesda pool near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem, on a Sabbath Day, the Lord called on the man who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years because of sin to get up and walk, giving him another chance to rebuild his long interrupted relationships with his family and friends (John 5:2-9).
4. Jesus Christ could not bear to see those who had come from many places to hear Him preach suffer hunger in the wilderness, so He used five loaves and two fishes to feed over five thousand people so that the daily sustenance of those who seek Him would not be suspended, and to let people know that He is the Bread of Life that is descended from heaven (John 6:1-14).
5. While Jesus was alone in the night praying and being close to God, He did not forget that His disciples were in the strong wind and rough seas struggling with the oars. So He walked to their boat on the water, and when He went aboard, the boat immediately reached where they were heading. The appearance of the Lord ends the fear and struggle of people in adverse situations (John 6:16-21).
6. The Lord wants people to know that He is the Light of the World. He opened the eyes of the man who had been blind from birth to the light. Although that person was thrown out of the synagogue, the Son of God approached and comforted him (John 9:35-38).
7. Jesus seemed indifferent to Lazarus, the one He loved, being sick to the point of death. He delayed arriving so as to manifest the greater glory of God. He would rather bear the misunderstanding of those He loved (Martha and Mary) in order to act according to God’s time. Jesus was deeply moved in spirit and troubled to see the tears and helplessness of people brought on by death. He ordered Lazarus to rise from the dead, ending the dominion of death over man, so that the bruised reed not only does not break, but has life restored (John 11:41-44).
8. Peter and seven other disciples were bewildered about the future. Harboring feelings of remorse and shame, they went back to their old vocation, yet did not catch anything. But the Lord still had patience with these disciples who had abandoned Him. He personally prepared a fire of burning coals and breakfast for them, and awakened their determination to following Him through the miracle of the 153 big fishes (John 21:4-14). The Lord clearly revealed His great “unremitting” love for those who follow Him.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever….Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men.” (Psalm 107:1, 8)
By: Daniel To