Jesus left the area knowing that the Pharisees were taking counsel and conspiring how to destroy him. But still his fame and reputation grew, for the people came to him and all who were sick and infirm he healed.
However he was not seeking fame or notoriety, for in all cases he ordered the people not to make him known. This was not merely a case of self-preservation, knowing the malice of the scribes and Pharisees, but it was his nature. It was also that the prophecies about him would be fulfilled.
In vs. 19 we see, “He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will any one hear his voice in the streets.” In this we see that he was not trying to be seen to be someone of importance, even though Jesus was the single most important person to ever walk on the earth. He was after all the Son of God. Instead though we see that he didn’t blow his own trumpet. He did not try to market himself as people do today, nor did he self-promote in any way at all. Instead his words and deeds spoke for him. As Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 5:25, “So also good deeds are conspicuous; and even when they are not, they cannot remain hidden.”
Jesus also came to level the playing field so that all men would have access to God. Prior to his coming, Israel was the chosen people of God. They received the law and had the prophets and to them were given the promises of the Lord. But in the New Covenant we see that the door was opened for the Gentiles as well so that everyone has access to life. We see in vs. 18, “I will put my Spirit upon him, and he shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles,” and again in vs. 21, “and in his name will the Gentiles hope.” So it is in Christ that the reconciliation of all men to God has been achieved.
Paul wrote about this reconciliation of the Gentiles and the Israelites in this way, “…remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility.” (Ephesians 2:12-14) And God has reconciled us to himself through Christ (Ephesians 2:16) and also given us the ministry of reconciliation to preach to the world, as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”
So now we see that all men regardless of race or genealogy are equals in Christ. We are all on the same level and all can approach the throne of God through Jesus Christ. There is no longer any distinction, we are all now the same. Once we were sinners but have now been set free from our sins in Christ Jesus through faith in his resurrection and the power of God. Romans 10:12-13 shows this saying, “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and bestows his riches upon all who call upon him. For, “every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” We may not all have been children of Israel in the flesh and able to receive the promises of God, but we can all become children of the spiritual Israel in Christ and thus become children of God.
Finally we see that Jesus is gentle. In Matthew 12:20 it says, “…he will not break a bruised reed or quench a smouldering wick, till he brings justice to victory.” By this he is saying that where there is life there is hope. If a person is bruised or suffering, he does not reject or ignore them, nor break them like a plant bruised and ready to be uprooted. Instead he offers help, care, healing and support to try to restore and strengthen. Where there is even a glimmer of light in a person, like a smouldering wick, he does not extinguish the light, but instead hopes that it will be fanned and become fully alight. If there is any chance that a person will come to him for reconciliation to God, he offers full opportunity to do so. No one is rejected, no one is left out who seeks or shows even the slightest desire to come to him.
A good example of this we see in the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. We see that when the prodigal son finally came to his senses and returned to his father broken and repentant, the father did not wait for him, but seeing him in the distance he ran to meet him. Jesus is the same. If we begin to approach him, even from a distance he will meet us on the way to help and guide us. Where there is life there is hope and our hope is in Jesus Christ and the redeeming power of his word.