Matthew is not only one who passes on information about Jesus, but also one who shapes what he passes on. And in this text Matthew “interprets” Jesus in a way that clarifies who the missional Jesus was. For Matthew, Jesus is missional Jesus because his task is that of the servant of Israel’s.
Jesus tries to get away; folks find him to his get-a-way; Jesus heals them and tells them not to make his identity public. Why, you might ask, would Jesus “prohibit evangelism”? The answer leads to missional Jesus, but first the text.
15 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. Many followed him, and he healed all their sick, 16 warning them not to tell who he was. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen,
the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
19 He will not quarrel or cry out;
no one will hear his voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he leads justice to victory.
21 In his name the nations will put their hope.”
1. Missional Jesus does good.
2. Missional Jesus is God’s delight and the one on whom the Spirit rests.
3. Missional Jesus proclaims justice to all.
4. Missional Jesus is humble — he does not remonstrate.
5. Missional Jesus is merciful.
6. Missional Jesus proclaims justice to all … I repeated that … so did Matthew (Isaiah).
For Jesus, healing others was accomplishing justice.