Focus Scripture: Isaiah 42:1-4
The description of the servant in Isaiah 42 is a different kind of leader. This leader is quiet and determined. This leader is gentle and yet unbreakable. A leader who will not shout or yell or raise his voice, but who will also not stop until there is justice. A leader who will not cause further harm to one who has been harmed ("a bruised reed he will not break") is a very different image than our leaders today. We see the poorest and most vulnerable being used as fodder in the war for Syria's future. We see the poorest and already oppressed being sacrificed in the name of greater power and profit. When the political leaders stoke the mistrust and fear among the poor and disenfranchised, pitting them against each other as a distraction from those who are taking advantage of both groups, we know that the leaders in power today are not the servant of God described in Isaiah 42.
In Matthew 12:17-21, we are told that these words in Isaiah are fulfilled in Jesus. It is Jesus who is the gentle leader who will bring justice without harming the vulnerable, without exploiting the weak. When we have leaders who invoke the name of Jesus and who claim to be Christian in how they govern and lead, we should ask ourselves, do they really follow the one who, "will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope.” Or do they, like so many earthly leaders before them, exploit weakness and advantage, yell and bluster, use fear and intimidation, and focus on "justice" (really advantage) for themselves and their allies, rather than bring justice to the nations, as the servant God speaks of should do?