Photo by fauxels

The experience of auditioning for a primary school play used to be very intimidating. The speaking parts were scarce, so if you didn’t get picked, the rejection would sting.

Nowadays, schools seem to have plays written so that every child can play a part, even if it’s one line. Everyone gets to join in and play.

This week, we’ve been looking at the long wait of Israel and Judah’s kingdoms for a good leader, as their own leaders let them down.

They’ve been waiting for a promised Messiah and a good shepherd. Lest we forget, though, God wants everyone to come to the party and play.

Even though the ‘nations’ are sometimes spoken of as enemies of God, they’re not left out of the invitation to God’s kingdom.

Here we’re promised a ‘servant’ who will bring justice to the nations (v1) and ‘light for the Gentiles’ (v6).

Even though He’s coming to outsiders, He will be so gentle that ‘a bruised reed he will not break and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out’ (v3).

Matthew recognises Jesus as the fulfilment of that prophecy (Matt. 12:17–21). It’s not just Israel who longs for Jesus’ coming, it’s the whole world.

As we await Jesus’ second coming, it’s a good reminder to us that God’s concern is for every people, tribe and nation.

Ethnic minorities and migrants tend to be undervalued in our society. Worldwide, people’s lives are not treated equally.

Whenever we’re tempted to think that God’s love or the good news of Jesus is not for a certain person, these verses challenge us.

Jesus extends His gentle invitation to people from every nation and background. So should we.


A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord, where I feel stuck, show me hope. Thank You that one day we will all be reunited as God’s people for eternity in heaven. Keep me persevering till then. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Meditate on the image of Rachel, weeping for her descendants, and place yourself in that scene. Now see God comforting you, using the words of verse 16 or Jeremiah 29:11.

Scripture To Consider:
Ps. 42:1–11; Jer. 29:4–14; Rom. 5:1–5 & 8:18–28

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.