He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break. Isaiah 42:2–3
In winter, I often wake to the beautiful surprise of a world blanketed in the peace and quiet of an early morning snow. Not loudly like a spring thunderstorm that announces its presence in the night, snow comes softly.
In “Winter Snow Song,” Audrey Assad sings that Jesus could have come to earth in power like a hurricane, but instead He came quietly and slowly like the winter snow falling softly in the night outside my window.
Jesus’s arrival took many by quiet surprise. Instead of being born in a palace, He was born in an unlikely place, a humble dwelling outside Bethlehem. And He slept in the only bed available, a manger (Luke 2:7). Instead of being attended by royalty and government officials, Jesus was welcomed by lowly shepherds (vv. 15–16). Instead of having wealth, Jesus’s parents could only afford the inexpensive sacrifice of two birds when they presented Him at the temple (v. 24).
The unassuming way Jesus entered the world was foreshadowed by the prophet Isaiah, who prophesied the coming Savior would “not shout or cry out” (Isaiah 42:2) nor would He come in power that might break a damaged reed or extinguish a struggling flame (v. 3). Instead He came gently in order to draw us to Himself with His offer of peace with God—a peace still available to anyone who believes the unexpected story of a Savior born in a manger.
Lord Jesus, thank You for willingly giving up Your majesty and coming to earth in order to offer peace.
How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given! —O Little Town of Bethlehem
Known as one of the Servant Songs (songs/poems that celebrate the service, suffering, and ultimate reign of the “Servant of the Lord”; see also Isaiah 49:1–13; 50:4–11; and 52:13–53:12), Isaiah 42 paints a beautiful picture of God’s care, concern, and coming justice for the nations. While there is some debate over the identity of the servant (in some songs the servant is expressed in the plural, suggesting the nation of Israel is the servant), there is little doubt about how today’s passage was viewed. Matthew quotes Isaiah 42:1–4 in its entirety (Matthew 12:18–21). Matthew says that Jesus’s ministry of healing the sick was in fulfillment of this passage: “This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah” (v. 17). Matthew clearly sees Jesus as the Servant of the Lord in whom the nations “put their hope.”