Life-Study of Isaiah, by Witness Lee

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Now we need to see His qualification in His humanity. In His qualification, He is in humanity. In His qualification, Isaiah said that He did not break a bruised reed or extinguish a dimly burning flax (42:3a). Because the plants in the Old Testament are types of Christ in His humanity, Christ is also typified by a reed and flax. In Exodus 30, Moses used the plant life and its extracts to signify Christ’s humanity. Christ is the myrrh, the cinnamon, the calamus, and the cassia (vv. 22-25). His qualification is not depending upon His divinity but upon His humanity. How could Jesus Christ be qualified as a Servant of God? Look at His human virtues.

A. Not Crying Out, nor Lifting Up His Voice,
nor Making His Voice Heard in the Street

In His humanity, He did not cry out, lift up His voice, or make His voice heard in the street (Isa. 42:2). To be quiet indicates a kind of victory. If a person is condemned and scolded, and yet still remains quiet and does not argue, that is a victory. If I do not lift up my voice, that is a victory. This kind of victory is a qualification. Generally speaking, young people want their voice to be heard by everyone. Isaiah tells us, however, that Christ in His humanity did not make His voice heard in the street.

B. Not Breaking a Bruised Reed
nor Extinguishing a Dimly Burning Flax

Isaiah 42:3 says that Christ did not break a bruised reed or extinguish a dimly burning flax. The Jews used to make flutes of reeds. When a reed was bruised, they broke it, because it could not give a proper sound. But Jesus Christ never breaks any bruised reed. Some of the Lord’s people are like the bruised reed that cannot give a musical sound, but the Lord will not break these bruised ones. He is kind and sympathetic.

He does not extinguish a dimly burning flax. The Jews made torches with flax to burn oil. These burning torches were used as lamps. If the flax in these torches was unsuitable and was smoking, it would be extinguished and thrown away. But Jesus would never do this. Some of the Lord’s people are like the smoking flax that cannot give a shining light, yet the Lord will not extinguish these smoking ones.

(Life-Study of Isaiah, Chapter 46, by Witness Lee)