“He will not contend or cry out.” (Matthew 12:19)
The big focal point when it comes to any suspense story or movie is the cat and mouse game that is played out between the villain and the hero of the story. Whether it is some high speed car chase or a game of wits between the two, the villain is always trying to trap the hero in some kind of web in order to render him powerless. As for the hero he usually uses his quick reflexes, street smarts or his charm to avoid this and then tries to save the day.
If you read Matthew 12:14-21 you will see how Jesus uses a unique strategy against the pharisees. However, it may not play out well in a suspense story. When He is done healing the man on the Sabbath, the Pharisees try an elaborate cat and mouse game with Him and hope they can trap Jesus in His own words so they can have a good reason to put Him to death. However, Jesus is already onto them and knows what’s going on. So what does He decide to do? He decides to just withdraw. He avoids confrontation with the Pharisees altogether so He can continue on ministering to the people. After all, that is what He was sent to do.
What an incredible role model Jesus is in this story. God wants each of us to take after His Son. He is the ultimate servant who at all times kept His eyes focused on doing only the will of His Father. So, instead of engaging in confrontations, He wants us to try and become agents of consolation instead. So, instead of crying out and striking back, He would rather have us move on to the next thing that’s on our list. Instead of allowing ourselves to get distracted by the enemy’s plans, He wants us to be able to be absorbed with forwarding His plans. Just think how many more people in this world could hear the good news of the Gospel if we could just learn the art of letting it go, let go of controversy, conflict and condemnation!
Sadly, we live in a culture that seems to thrive on argument and conflict so it can be difficult at times to remember that the only One whose opinion really matters is God! So we need to try and focus on loving Him and trying to serve His people the best we can. We need to try and make it our goal only to do what we know God is asking of us. Then we can move on to the next task, trusting that our Father in heaven sees all that we are trying to do and will protect and reward us for our efforts.
“Jesus, help me learn to walk away from needless conflict. I want to be like you, not crying out or raising my voice, but simply loving and serving your people.”
It’s a tough one but if we try and keep trying even when we fail, we will finally reach our goal.