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Jesus, the Servant of the LORD

January 6, 2019, More from this speaker 更多关于此讲员: Dr. Tan Hock Seng (Matthew 9:27-38) For more of this sermon series 更多关于此讲道系列: Matthew
Preached at a Bilingual (Mandarin-English, Sunday) service

Tags: Matthew 马太福音

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Title: Jesus, the Servant of the LORD
Date: 6 Jan 2019
Preacher: Dr Tan Hock Seng

I.Jesus’ Healing Miracles in Matthew – Who is This Jesus?
In his Gospel, Matthew tells stories of Jesus’ preaching and healing to pose readers the question, “Who is this Jesus who preached the Kingdom of God and healed the sick?” [In chapter 11 we read that…]

Matthew 11:2-5
2 When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"
4 Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see:
5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.
Jesus indirectly assured John the Baptist that He is the One (the Messiah) whom the people are expecting.
A. Matthew correlates the healing miracles with Jesus’ affirmative answer:
1. The blind receive sight, [Healing of the two blind men, 9:27-31];
2. The lame walk, [Healing of the paralytic, 9:1-7];
3. Those who have leprosy are cured, [Healing of the leper, 8:1-4]
4. The deaf hear, [Healing of the deaf and/or mute, 9:32-34];
5. The dead are raised, [Healing of the dead girl, 9:22-26]; and
6. The good news is preached to the poor [Preaching about the kingdom of heaven in villages, [4:17; 4:23].

In chapter 9 we see two blind men received sight. In verses 1-7 we see a paralytic walked. In chapter 8, a leper, cured. Again in chapter 9 we see a deaf-mute person spoke, and a dead girl, raised.

Q: Where did the people get the idea that the Messiah would be doing such things – healing people and preaching to the poor?

B. Matthew cites two texts from Isaiah to identify Jesus as the Servant of the LORD

Isaiah 53:4 & Isaiah 42:1-4

Matthew cites Isaiah 53 & 42 to tell the readers that the Jesus who heals and preaches to the poor is the Messiah, the Servant of Yahweh.

The “Servant” is not a road-sweeper. He is a Class 1 civil servant who is anointed with God’s Spirit, and empowered with Divine to do God’s work. The Prophet Moses was such servant of the LORD, and King David was also the LORD’s servant. Similarly, Jesus is also such messianic “Servant”. [“Messiah” means the anointed One].

After telling three specific stories about healing,

Jesus heals a man with leprosy (8:1-4)
Jesus heals a centurion’s servant (8:5-13)
Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law (8:14-15)

Matthew writes a general report of Jesus’ ministry in Chapter 8 verses 16-17:

Matthew 8:16-17
6 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.

Then Matthew cites Isaiah 53:4 prophecy to show that Jesus is the Messiah:

17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

"He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases."

In Chapters 8:23-9:34; and Chapters 12:9-13, Matthew tells 6 more stories of Jesus’ healing miracles. The last story is the healing of a man with shriveled hand in Chapter 12.

1. Jesus heals two demon-possessed men (8:28-34)
2. Jesus heals a paralytic (9:1-7)
3. Jesus heals a dead girl and a woman with internal bleeding (9:18-26)
4. Jesus heals two blind men (9:27-31)
5. Jesus heals a demon-possessed mute man (9:32-34)
6. Jesus heals a man with shriveled hand on Sabbath (12:9-13)

After the 6th healing story Matthew again writes a general report of Jesus’ ministry:

Matthew 12:15-21
Many followed him, and he healed all their sick, 16 warning them not to tell who he was.

Following that general report, Matthew cites Isaiah 42:18-2 to show that Jesus is the Messiah, the Servant of Yahweh.

17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

18 "Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. 19 He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. 20 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. 21 In his name the nations will put their hope."

The two sets of miracle stories are sandwiched between two non-healing events. The two miracles about Jesus calming the storm (8:23-27) and Jesus feeding the 5,000 (14:14-21) & the 4,000 (15:32-38) people are examples that demonstrate that Jesus is a Servant just as the prophet Moses was a servant of the LORD.

Moses parted the water; Jesus calmed the wind and the waves
Moses fed the people, manna; Jesus fed the people, bread

II. Jesus is the Servant of the LORD Whom Isaiah Announced

Matthew presents Jesus as the fulfillment of Isaiah 42:1-4 prophecy

Isaiah 42:1-4
"Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight;

[1] The Servant Shall Be Anointed with God’s Spirit
Firstly, this Servant shall be anointed with God’s Spirit. God says,

I will put my Spirit on him

At His baptism, the people witnessed God’s anointing of Jesus with the Holy Spirit. A voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” The Holy Spirit’s coming upon Jesus is God’s testimony that Jesus is the Messiah.

Matthew 3:16
At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.

[2] The Servant Shall Executive Divine Justice

and he will bring Justice to the nations.

[There are …]
Three aspects of Divine Justice:

The Restorative Aspect;
The Compensatory Aspect; and
The Vindicative Aspect.

[First, there is …]
A. The Restorative Aspect of Justice

1. Jesus brought justice to the people
Some people ask, “What are colors?” because they were born blind. Some ask, “What does it feel like to run?” They are cripples. Some, “What is music?” What are sound?” They can’t hear. Since the day of their birth, these people do not have the basic necessities of life. Life is apparently unfair to them.

But when Jesus came, 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk … the deaf hear…” Jesus restored Justice to these people. He did not tell them, “Life is always unfair; you have to accept it.” Jesus brought back to these people the basic things in life that they ought to have but never had.

Matthew tells us that Jesus treated these people as a compassionate Shepherd.

Matthew 9:36
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

1.Jesus saw the crowds as sheep without a shepherd

Sheep without a shepherd have

a.No food when hungry;
b.No care when sick;
c.No protection when in danger

When hungry, they had nothing to eat; when sick, no one to care for them; when in danger, no one to protect

2.The crowds were harassed and helpless

While the Good Shepherd would feed the sheep, the bad shepherd would eat the sheep. The disadvantaged people were often exploited.

Those people needed the necessary Justice, and
Jesus brought them Justice with compassion.

3.Jesus brought justice to people with compassion
he had compassion on them

Isaiah amplifies the Servant’s compassion with two common imageries in 42:3:

A bruised reed he will not break,
A smoldering wick he will not snuff out.

The images of the “bruised reed” and the “smoldering wick” depict the poor and the people incapacitated by diseases. These people were already hurting but they were further trampled upon, to the point of being snuffed out. Isaiah tells us that the Messiah would pay close attention to “bruised reed” and “smoldering wick”. Matthew shows us that Jesus had compassion on them.

[The second important aspect of justice is compensatory…]
B.The Compensatory Aspect of Justice

Many times people prayed for loved ones who are very sick, but they did not get the answer they longed for. Some believers have many questions to ask God:

“My child has been sick all his life, since the day he was born. Why don’t you heal him?

“I love you, Lord; I serve you faithfully. Why can’t you spare me from this painful disease?”

The many testimonies about God healing other people, can make them more bitter and resentful. Angry because they think, “God heals everyone, but me”.

One day God shall explain to us all the “why’s”. It is not presumptuous to hope for that because Our Heavenly Father truly cares for you and me.

The Scripture shows us that the LORD does compensate people who suffer unjustly. Fairness is a subset of justice; and justice is one part of God’s character

We can see this compensatory concept in the books of Job and 2 Corinthians.

In Job 42:12-17, we see that God blessed Job with twice the amount of sheep, camels, oxen and donkeys that he had initially lost during his life’s trials. God also blessed him with 7 sons and 3 daughters. God was wise not to double Job’s children, otherwise his wife would again say, “Curse God and die!” Job did not demand compensation from God, but the LORD graciously recompensed him.

[However, many people may not experience “Compensatory Justice” in their life-time].

In 2 Corinthians 5:10, we read that at the Judgment Seat of Christ, “each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”(NASB). [The Jewish N.T. reads, “The Judgment Court of the Messiah” instead of “Christ”]. At the “Judgment Seat of Christ” God shall judge us, as believers, concerning how we lived our lives. Do we live for Jesus? Do we use our talents and abilities to bring Glory to God? We all long to hear God’s commendation, “Well done! My good and faithful servant.” That shall be the day the LORD shall recompense and reward us. The Greek word komizo is translated as “reward” in many English versions. Those translations cause us to miss the meaning of “recompense”. “Komizo” carries the sense of receiving something back as recompense. We will see the meaning when we read the NASB [New American Standard Version] version.

We were created in God’s image. If we, as God’s image, know how to recompense others in our sense of fairness, how much more would God also will to recompense in His character of absolute Justice.

[Thirdly, there is …]
C.The Vindicative Aspect of Justice

There are many forms of injustice and cases of miscarriage of justice in this world. Who will be the one who will vindicate those who have suffered greatly?

The Book of Revelation presents Jesus Christ in two imageries. The first is the imagery of the slain Lamb; the second is the imagery of the Warrior LORD.

In His first coming, the Messiah is presented as a lamb of God, slain for the sins of the world (Rev. 5:12) ; in His second coming the Messiah will come as the Warrior LORD to battle evils - the satanic beast and the antichrist people. Christ will vindicate Justice in this world of distorted justice. This act is God’s vindication of Justice as the Judge of the world. It is a Day when “God shall eradicate all appearances and forms of evil”. (Rev. 19: 9-21; Zechariah 14:1-5).

[3] The Servant of the LORD will not Herald Himself

2 He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets (42:2)

Isaiah tells us that the Servant of the LORD will not hail or promote Himself.

Unlike the politicians, the Messiah would not cry “Vote for me, vote for me. I’ll return all your CPFs.”

[We can observe this trait in the Gospel that…]
A.Jesus instructed the people whom He healed not to tell anyone

Matthew 9:30
Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.”

Matthew 12:15-16
Many followed him, and he healed all their sick, warning them not to tell who he was.

Matthew 16:20
Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

Isaiah has depicted this behavior in Chapter 42:2,

2 He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.

Indeed, Jesus kept a low profile of Himself as the Messiah.

We will never find in the four Gospels where Jesus announced, “I am the Messiah.” Many critics who do not understand the Gospels well enough accused the Church for elevating the status Jesus from an ordinary man to a Messiah. That allegation is false.

Jesus merely avoided the term “Messiah”. There are other terms that denote “Messiah” in the Gospel, e.g “The Servant of the LORD” is a messianic title. “The Son of David” is another messianic title; The “Son of Man” is also a messianic title. The Son of Man was Jesus’ favorite self-designation. By referring Himself as the Son of Man, Jesus is actually revealing Himself as the Messiah. Another term for Messiah is the “Son of God”. The “Son of God” is also a messianic title. To the Jewish people all faithful Israelites are “sons of God”. A righteous king is reckoned as a “Son of God”. King Solomon, King Hezekiah, and king Josiah were regarded as “Son of God.” When a N.T. writer wanted to emphasize the Divine nature of Jesus, he would prefer the term “the Son” (without the possessive phrase “of God”).

Hebrews 1:3
The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

John 5:22 (cf. 5:20-23)
Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son…

In Matthew 9:27-30, after restoring the sight of the two blind men, Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.”

I am sure that Jesus knew that such warning is futile. If I had been blind all my life, and Jesus made me see, the first thing I would want to do is to tell everyone “Jesus healed me!” It is very hard to contain such unspeakable joy to myself. Even, if I decided to cooperate with Jesus, friends from the “Association of the Blind” will want to know how I could see again. If I tell them, “I was walking, got distracted; and bumped my head against a tree. When I woke up, I could see.” And they will ask, “Which tree?” The next thing we’ll see is a long line of blind men, queuing up for their turn to bump their heads against the tree. So, it is still better to tell the truth after all that Jesus healed me.

Thus, we read, “But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region” (v.31).

Jesus was trying to avoid unwanted attention from those crazy fans from the “messiah-clubs” or the “M-Pop” groups in His day.

B. Some religious leaders thought Jesus to be demonic

In the second story of today’s text, Jesus exorcised a demon-possessed man. After that the deaf & mute man spoke. The crowd was amazed; but the Pharisees accused Jesus to be demon-empowered.

The Pharisees were not wrong to exercise caution against Jesus. In the first century there were sorcerers who possessed power to cast out demons and performed healing.

The Jewish false prophet Elymas who could counterfeit miracles (Acts 13:6-10)

The seven sons of Sceva, who could also exorcize demons by invoking the name of Jesus (Acts 19:13-16).

The Antichrist also possesses power to perform astounding miracles (Rev. 13:11-18).

Long ago Moses had warned the Israelites that not every person who can perform miracles is a man sent by God (Deut. 13:1-5).

However, the Pharisees exercised poor discernment. Nicodemus was also a Pharisee with doubts about Jesus; but he sought Jesus to clarify what he did not understand. As a result, Nicodemus became a believer.

[In Matthew 9:37-38 …]
III. Jesus Announced That the Harvest is Plentiful

Matthew 9:37-38
Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

The harvest is plentiful

A.Jesus told His disciples to ask the Lord of Harvest to send out workers.

“The harvest is plentiful”. Instead of telling the disciples, “I want you to go,” Jesus said, “Ask the Lord of harvest to send out workers”. Since “the laborers are few”, why didn’t Jesus ask his disciples to sign up as “harvest-workers”?

Probably at that time, the disciples were salt without flavors and lamps that were covered. If salt has lost its flavor, what good would it be in the harvest field? If a lamp is intentionally covered, what light would it give in darkness?

If a believer who is “salt without favor” and “lamp that is covered” were to be sent to the mission field, the people would be helped much. On the contrary, both the people and missionary might quarrel and fight frequently. As a result, everybody suffers.

The disciples had to learn to cultivate their “being” first. They must experience the life-transformation by the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus shall send them later.

Jesus was more interested the “beings” of His disciples than what they could do for him. Similarly, your heavenly Father is more interested in you getting to know Him, growing to enjoy His presence, than in what you can do for Him.

Jesus did not compel His disciples to go to the Harvest Field.
He did not pressure, telling them, “If you go, I will love you more.”

Whatever the disciple did for Jesus was motivated by their love for Him. Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” “If you love me, feed my sheep” (John 21:5-7). The Apostle Paul was also compelled by his love for Christ to be a laborer in the harvest field (2 Cor. 5:14). So, if any disciple were to respond to be God’s worker in the harvest field, he must learn to love God first.

Similarly, whatever we for God ought to be motivated by our love for Him.

B.The Harvest Field is not Always Out There

The Harvest Field Can Start Where We Are.

There are many things that we can do within the vicinity of our church,
And there are also many things we can do beyond the church’s vicinity.

Mission work can start where you are when you take initially to meet the needs you encounter.

What can be done within the Church’s vicinity.

1.Robert Raikes & the White Slaves of England
One evening Robert Raikes walked down St. Catherine Street, Gloucester, UK. He saw a group of children loitering and creating troubles for the residence. He asked a woman, "Who are these children?" The woman replied, “Pay no attention to them.” Everyone calls them the white slaves of England" “They work 12 hours a day or longer in the factory.” “Most of the children’s parents are in prison or dead.

Then Robert asked, "When do they go to school?" “School? They don't go to school. They have to work to live.” She answered. And Sundays are the worst. It's their only day off and they run around like wild animals!"

Robert knew that the future was grim for these children with no education. With the help of a pastor, Robert Raikes hired four teachers to teach the children how to read and write. The Bible was used as a textbook for teaching reading and writing skills. However, on the first Sunday only a few children came.

Robert Raikes learned from a little girl (Marcy) that many children did not want to go because they had no proper clothing. So, Robert said, “Tell your friends that all they need is to wash their face and comb their hair.” After that he gave the girl one cent one as a reward for paying attention in class.

It did not take long for the class to be filled with 100 children, ages 6 to 14. The children were taught from 10.00 am until noon. After an hour of lunch break, they resumed studies from 1.00pm until 5.00pm. That was the origin of the first Sunday School. Even though the children were taught only once a week, their behavior gradually improved. The policemen of the city told Robert that the children were not stealing and fighting like before.

Robert Raikes started the first Sunday School in July 1780. By 1831, 50 later, there were many Sunday Schools in the Great Britain, teaching a total of 1,250,000 children.

Mission work can start where you are when you take initially to do what you can to meet the needs you encounter.

Our Jubilee Church runs a Chinese Kindergarten, which began as an outreach arm of the church in 1921 by Rev Cook. Its operation was handed to the Tanjong Pagar church in 1939.The Tanjong Pajar Church was later renamed as Jubilee Church.

Today many churches’ kindergartens have closed down due to low registration. Many Christian Kindergartens that are operating under the Anchor Operator Scheme, are not permitted to evangelize the children, or to include religious contents in their teaching.

However, the Jubilee Chinese Kindergarten 160-180 children. Among the 15 teachers, half of which are non believers. Majority of the children come from non Christian background.

The Kindergarten has planned a list of outreach activities for 2019. For now, weekly Kidz Club, the June’s holiday program, Graduation in October, and December Jubilee Children’s Camp] The principal welcomes helpers.

If God is leading you to help, you may contact: The Principal, Mrs Wong,, Tel; 6221-9862. Do not just walk in. Do inform the principal in advance concerning WHEN you are able to help.

What can be done outside the Church’s vicinity.

2.A worker from China fell two-storey off a building. He hurt his head, lapsed into coma but later regained consciousness. After his discharge from the hospital, he frequently had very severe headache. There was no one in his dormitory to care for him.

One day he told a doctor that he wanted to kill himself. That doctor realized that the worker needed more than just painkillers. He needed friends, emotional support and spiritual guidance to restore his sense of worth and dignity.

That physician was Dr Goh Wei Leong, an elder of Katong Presbyterian Church. After his encounter with the China worker, Dr Goh and a businessman Mr Tang Shin Yong founded the HealthServe in the late 2006 to provide medical care for migrant workers in Singapore. These workers are from men between 18 to 50 years old, coming from Bangladesh, India and China.

Dr Goh started a clinic in Geylang Lorong 23, charging just $5 per consultation. But the patient turnout was low.

Initially he was very discouraged, but later Dr Goh realized that he must go to people whom he wanted to serve and not expect people to come to him. So, with the help of a social worker they crossed the road to meet people sex workers, pimps, gamblers, as well as migrant workers. They started making friends with all the people there, and the people started visiting the clinic.

In 2009, the HealthCare offered Pro-bono legal services; in 2011 they launch the Food Project to feed the hungry; in 2014 Counseling service was offered; and the first Dental clinic was launched in 2016.

If you observe what they do, you will find that the activities of HealthServe are similar to what Jesus did. The Outreach work is wholistic – there is a healing, the provisions of foods, the giving of compassionate care, and also the verbal and lifestyle proclamation of the Gospel.

Today, the HealthServe ministry operates three medical and dental centres in Geylang, Mandai and Jurong. It has only 10 full-time staff, but 120 volunteer doctors, more than 20 dentists, and 547 active volunteers who are nurses, pharmacists, housewives, students, counsellors and administrative officers.

You may participate in the HeathServe ministry a volunteers in many different capacity. If God is leading you to participate in the HealthServe ministry, you may contact Willy Lau, the Volunteer Development Manager at HealthServe.

Mission work can start where you are when you take initially to do what you can to meet the needs you encounter.

The HealthServe ministry started when one person took initiative to do what he could do to meet the needs he encountered.

[As we conclude, may we remind ourselves …]

1.Salts must not lose its flavor; Light should not be covered.
[Your Heavenly Father is interested in you knowing Him than what you can do for Him.]
2.“Love for God” must be the motivation for whatever we do for God.
3.The harvest field is before us; we just need to take the initiative.

Matthew 9:27–38 (Listen)

27 And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” 28 When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about it.” 31 But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.

32 As they were going away, behold, a demon-oppressed man who was mute was brought to him. 33 And when the demon had been cast out, the mute man spoke. And the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.” 34 But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.”

35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”