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Matthew 12, beginning to read at verse 1: "At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; And charged them that they should not make him known: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment", or declare judgment, "to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust".

Who is the bruised reed and the smoking flax? What is Christ's attitude and action towards these? What consolation can we take from a text such as this?

I want to speak you to this morning on 'The Bruised Reed'. The context of verse 20, which we will take as our text this morning, is the opposition to the Lord Jesus from His enemies regarding the subject of the Sabbath day. Now I'm sure you're all familiar with the fourth commandment found in Exodus chapter 20:8-11: 'Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it'. The Sabbath, indeed, was holy - but the problem came in Judaism where the Scribes and the Pharisees added their own man-made traditions to the law of the fourth commandment, the Sabbath day. They had their own particular rigid interpretations of this command.

Now Jesus got Himself into trouble constantly because He disregarded the traditions of men, which He said made the word of God null and void, and because of that He incurred the wrath of the religious establishment. Here we see a case in point of this, verse 1, as He and His disciples were passing through the corn fields they plucked grain and ate it on the Sabbath day. The cry that came from the Pharisees was: 'That is not lawful!'. Now there is no law in the Old Testament that prohibited plucking of grain in order to eat. Gleaning of handfuls of grain from a neighbour's field to satisfy one's immediate hunger in Deuteronomy 23:25 is explicitly permitted. What was prohibited was labour for the sake of profit, earning a living. So the Lord Jesus, to point this fact out, appeals to King David in verses 3 and 4, citing how he ate of the shewbread which was not lawful for him to eat. Then in verses 5 and 6, He also appeals to the priests who were working on the Sabbath day, theoretically - often you hear people say: 'How do pastors and ministers get away with working on the Lord's Day?'. Well, here's a similar situation where the priests worked on the Sabbath - but their work was permitted, being the work of the Lord.

Then the Lord Jesus made the staggering statement in verse 6, He said: 'There is one greater than the temple'. In other words, there is One greater than all your laws, and He's here now with you and you don't recognise Him. Now what the Lord was actually doing and claiming to be, Himself greater than the temple, was claiming deity: 'I am God, I am with you, I am greater than the temple; yet you're ignoring me, and getting taken up with all your intricate laws and regulations'. Then in verse 7 He appeals to the prophet Hosea, that God would rather have from men's hearts certain sentiments, rather than sacrifices that they make through law. Then in verse 8 Jesus declares Himself as Lord of the Sabbath, and in verses 9 to 14, if you look at it, He asserts His lordship over the Sabbath by healing on the Sabbath day. The Pharisees pose the question to Him: 'Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?', so He heals.

What Matthew is doing there is, he is conveying the sharp contrast between Christ's wicked opponents and Christ Himself...

Now Jewish tradition prohibited the practice of medicine on the Sabbath. The Pharisees said: 'It's wrong! You shouldn't heal anybody or be a physician on the Sabbath day, only in threatening situations where your life is at risk'. That was the tradition of the Pharisees, but if we read the Old Testament we find there is no actual law there that forbade giving of medicine, healing, or any other acts of mercy. The Lord gives this principle that has been completely lost in the pharisaical religion, that it is always lawful to do good on the Sabbath and whatever other day you're doing it.

So He not only healed this man in the temple with the withered hand, but in verse 15 it says, and these are beautiful words, that He healed all the people who came to Him, thronged to Him on that Sabbath day. Demonstrating the compassion of God towards those who are affected by sin: the spirit of the law is not to shut out men and women from God's goodness, but to bring them in, to mend those who are in need of it. Then in verse 16 we see that after He healed them all, He warned them not to make Him known. It would seem that He was concerned about the potential zeal of those in Judaism who were trying to press the Lord Jesus into a conquering hero mould. In other words, He was going to overcome the Romans and Herod, He was going to bring deliverance and bring the kingdom to the earth at that particular time. Lest He play into their hands, He tells them: 'Don't tell anybody about this'.

Now why does He do that? Someone even recently, after one prayer meeting, asked me the question: 'Why does the Lord often tell folk who He has healed and done great works for, not to tell anyone?'. This is the reason why, at least in this context: that to do such was contrary to the prophetic picture of Messiah that has been given to us in the Old Testament. That's the context of the verse where we read in verse 20: 'A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench'. Verse 17 shows us that the Lord told them not to tell anyone: 'That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen'. In other words, quoting Isaiah 42:1-4, He wants to demonstrate that the Messiah who has come to fulfil God's prophetic promises in the Old Scripture is the exact opposite and contrary to the typical first century rabbinical expectations of who He would be. They wanted a conquering King, they wanted a political leader, they wanted Him to have an agenda of politics, to come and wage a military campaign, they wanted a great fanfare - but here comes this gentle Messiah riding on a donkey, the colt of an ass, with meekness and humility - even declaring righteousness unthinkable thought...the Gentiles. That was not the Jewish expectation.

Verse 19 says: 'He shall not strive, nor cry aloud'. This Messiah that was promised of God would not try and stir up a revolution, or force His way into power - that's very interesting when we consider some occupations of Christians even in our land. That was not the mandate of Messiah, to bring God's kingdom by the sword. But it is this aspect and attribute of Messiah that I want you to note, verse 20: 'A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench'. What Matthew is doing there is, he is conveying the sharp contrast between Christ's wicked opponents and Christ Himself. His opponents want to destroy Him, verse 14, they want to wipe Him out, and all those weak and humble souls in society that don't reach up to their standard of religious ethic. Yet here is Christ Himself, actually in bodily form, in the midst of His own people, God's beloved Son, the Servant of Jehovah, the divine and human Redeemer upon whom the Father has poured out His Spirit without measure - and what is His frame of mind and disposition of heart? It is the very opposite to the Pharisees and the religious establishment.

A bruised reed may have been, and I believe probably was, a musical pipe...

William Hendrickson, the commentator, puts it like this: 'What a contrast between the cruelty of the Pharisees and the kindness of Jesus, between their vanity and His reserve, between their love for display and His meekness. They plan to murder', verse 14, 'and are callous and indifferent to the agony of the handicapped. 'Is it lawful? Is it lawful?', is their cry. Never is it kind, but He is completely different. A bruised reed shall He not break, a smoking flax shall He not quench'.

Now I want to ask three questions of this text in context this morning. First, who is the bruised reed and the smoking flax? Second, what is Christ's attitude and action towards these? Thirdly, what consolation can we take from a text such as this? First of all let's ask: who is the bruised reed and the smoking flax? Well, a bruised reed may have been, and I believe probably was, a musical pipe. Shepherds out in the field would have used a reed in order to shepherd their sheep, and if a reed was bruised as a musical instrument, it would become inharmonious and harsh to the ear, and probably it would have been rendered broken and then smashed up by the Shepherd and just thrown aside. In other words, a bruised reed, for a Shepherd, was useless, it was purposeless, it failed to fulfil the purpose for which it had been made.

Now other people take a reed just in its elementary form, to be the reed stalk that you find in the marshes, even in our own land. If it is taken as that, at best a reed is slender, isn't it? But if it's bruised, it can't bear any weight at all, it's fit for nothing only the fire. This imagery is found in scripture - we read in 2 Kings 18:21 that Israel were looking to Egypt for deliverance rather than God, and God said to them: 'Now, behold, thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed, even upon Egypt, on which if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt unto all that trust on him'. It is something useless, something weak.

What is a smoking flax? Well, the word in Greek is 'linon', which we get 'linen' from, and it was used as a wick for a lamp or for a candle. A smoking flax was a smoking wick. What would happen to it is, it would be extinguished. You see, a Jew maybe would take a horn and pour oil into it when they were travelling, and take it like a torch. They would put this little bit of linen wick into it, and light it. Now and again what would happen was, instead of bringing forth a light to guide them, it would start to smoke and smoke, and irritate them, and even blind them. What you would do in that instance was, you would just quench it. In other words, its purpose was to give forth light to guide, to see, but all it was doing was producing smoke that blinded.

Its purpose was to give forth light to guide, to see, but all it was doing was producing smoke that blinded...

Now both of these figures - a bruised reed, a smoking flax - I think it's obvious, and particularly in this context, that it's speaking for weakness, it's representing helplessness, even those people in Jewish society at this time who were weak in their faith, of little faith. Do you remember that John the Baptist was reported to be doubting who the Messiah was, whether Jesus truly was He - and I'm not going into whether that was the case or not, whether he doubted or he didn't doubt, I have my own opinion on that - but the Lord Jesus spoke and said to the multitude concerning John: 'What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?'. The figure of doubt, being blown about, change, transition.

It also speaks of those who are despised and rejected by the Pharisees, the weak, those who the Pharisees were impotent to help with their doctrines and their religious system. I think that's represented in this man with the withered hand in the temple. The Pharisees couldn't do anything to help a man such as that, all they could do was cast him out of the temple. What we have here in this bruised reed and smoking flax is the figure for people who are deemed as useless and purposeless by the world and even by the religious establishment. The reed was made to make a noise, but if it's bruised it cannot. A flax was made to make a light, but if it smokes it blinds, it may even cause others not to see.

I think the bruised reed and the smoking flax are those who the Lord Jesus spoke of as 'poor in spirit' - that is, people who see themselves as they are. It could be people who feel the weight of their sin upon them. It could be the sick of soul who feel need of a physician. It could be those who esteem themselves as little children, Luke 4 puts them as 'the broken-hearted, the captives, the blind, the bruised'. I wonder do you fit into any of those descriptive categories? If you think about it, what is weaker than a bruised reed or a smoking flax? If a bird lands upon a bruised reed it will break. A smoking flax, perhaps, only has one little ember of fire in it that even a child's breath could blow out. It's a picture of frailty, of brittleness, of purposelessness, of weakness, of poverty of spirit, of the sense of being despised. It might even be a figure for those who have the least isolated spark of desire after God. It might represent those who are wounded in their spirit, because a reed is a cylinder, there's nothing in the middle of it - and when the reed is bruised, its strength is destroyed. Does it speak of those who are bruised in spirit?

I wonder have you ceased to burn clearly? Maybe there are other zealous Christians, and violently, like the Pharisees, they would just dispose of you - 'You're no use!'. Who is the bruised reed and the smoking flax? Listen to what Spurgeon says in his Morning and Evening Devotions: 'Some of God's children are made strong', naturally I think he's speaking of, 'God has His Samsons here and there who can pull up Gaza's gates, and carry them to the top of the hill; He has a few mighties who are lion-like men, but the majority of His people are a timid, trembling race. They are like starlings, frightened at every passer by; a little fearful flock. If temptation comes, they are taken like birds in a snare; if trial threatens them, they are ready to faint; their frail skiff is tossed up and down by every wave, they are drifted along like a sea bird on the crest of the billows - weak things, without strength, without wisdom, without foresight'. Do you feel like that? A bruised reed? A smoking flax?

I wonder have you ceased to burn clearly. Maybe there are other zealous Christians, and violently, like the Pharisees, they would just dispose of you - 'You're no use!'

Well, hopefully we see who these people are, but secondly we want to ask the question: what is Christ's attitude and action toward these? This is the point of the passage: to contrast the attitude of Messiah, who Isaiah prophesied would come, and the attitude of the Pharisees who were supposedly looking for Him. Christ's work, he says, is not to break the bruised reed, it is not to quench the smoking flax - He wants to restore the bruised reed, He wants to rekindle the smoking flax! We see Christ speaking here of His desire in tender compassion toward the lowliest of the lost. He didn't come into the world to gather a strong band of men for a revolution, but He came to show mercy to the weak. What does Paul say in Corinthians? Wonderful words: 'For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence'.

Broken reeds! Are you backslidden this morning? You're a broken reed! Lukewarm saints who have been wounded by sin and compromise, you're a broken reed! Broken spirit, giving forth, perhaps, from your mouth the sound that you shouldn't, an uncertain sound doctrinally, an uncertain sound in the assurance of your salvation. Maybe through an uncertain sound like the broken reed, you're leading others astray, blessing with the same tongue that you're cursing with? You're a broken reed! Smoking believers can distract others so easily, even in the fellowship - yet what, perhaps, I and you do to them, Jesus does not. He doesn't break the bruised reed, He doesn't quench the smoking flax. He expects the bruised reed to take weight one day again. He expects the smoking flax to give forth light once more. He wants a tune to come from the reed that is broken. He wants light to guide others, that people may see our light shine to glorify our Father who is in heaven.

Jesus is not a discourager, He is the greatest encourager! Isaiah says in Isaiah 40 of Messiah: 'He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young'. In Luke 4:18, Jesus said, as He opened the prophecy of Isaiah and read it in the synagogue: 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised'.

There are five spheres in the ministry of Christ that I want to illustrate this attitude and action that He has towards the bruised reed and the smoking flax from. The first is before His incarnation, the Bible says that 'His goings forth were of old from everlasting', and it was He who appeared to the patriarchs before He came into Bethlehem in human flesh. Hear the testimony of the dying patriarch Jacob, whose failings had been many - his name means 'twister'. Yet at the end of his life this twister said these words, blessing Joseph he said: 'God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads'. That was the twister's view of God.

There are five spheres in the ministry of Christ that I want to illustrate this attitude and action that He has towards the bruised reed and the smoking flax from...

We read that Christ was the Rock that followed the Israelites through the desert, Christ guided them, the Lord Jesus. What attitude did the Lord Jesus have to this rebellious group of wanderers? Listen to what Psalm 78 says: 'But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath'. Isaiah says: 'In all their affliction, he was afflicted'.

Before His incarnation, what about in the days of His flesh, the second sphere? Thirty three years He dwelt among men, they beheld His glory, they saw Him full of grace and truth. Matthew says, 'When He saw the multitudes, as sheep without a shepherd, He had compassion on them'. His heart was filled with compassion. What was His language toward those sheep without a shepherd? 'Come unto me', He said, 'all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest'. He saw just a little bit of faith in the nobleman who came to Him on behalf of his son, but the nobleman's faith was so weak that he thought the Lord Jesus couldn't raise him from the dead from a distance, and he said: 'Sir, come down ere my child die'. What did the Lord say? Did He gave him a theological treatise on the omnipresence of God? No, He didn't, He staggeringly yielded to that man's desire. He may have been bruised and smoking.

How faithless and unbelieving were His disciples, but how often we read that He endured their waywardness and taught them as much as they were able to bear at that moment. Even in the garden, as He's going to Calvary in great agony, He's near unto death and He has asked three of His disciples to pray, and they fall asleep - He apologises for them in the statement 'The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak'! Even when He's arrested from that garden, and all of His disciples flee, the Bible says: 'He loved them unto the end', and even beyond.

Before His incarnation, in the days of His flesh, then between the resurrection and the ascension. He rises, and He says to Mary Magdalene to go and tell the disciples of His rising from the grave. He mentions Peter by name, inconsolable Peter who betrayed the Lord with oaths and curses. Then we see Him joining Cleopas and his companion going to Emmaus, and He revives their dying faith and hope. Then He enters into the room where the eleven are assembled, and He says to their drooping and fearful hearts: 'Peace be unto you!'. He even condescends to the request of Thomas to set his scruples at rest: 'See my hands, my feet and my side!'. As He parts from those disciples, He gives them a blessing!

What about following His return to heaven? You've heard it said many times: 'Out of sight, out of mind'. That's often the case, isn't it? With Joseph, the chief butler, on his advancement, forgot him. King David, years elapsed after he was enthroned before he remembered to inquire after the family of his friend Jonathan - but Jesus remembered His followers as soon as He came into His kingdom. Immediately He sends another Comforter. We read that presently He is touched with the feelings of our infirmities, He appears in the presence of God for them. He was seen by the dying Stephen at the right hand of God in all His glory. He says, Paul, of himself and his own experience, that Christ stood with him when he stood before Nero, when everyone else forsook him. Even when He addressed the seven churches in Asia in the book of the Revelation, and He justly reproves their faults on occasions, but in kindness and love He notices and commends the least degree of faithfulness.

How faithless and unbelieving were His disciples, but how often we read that He endured their waywardness and taught them as much as they were able to bear at that moment!

He's the same yesterday, today and forever - and the fifth sphere is our future! We find that at the end of verse 20: 'A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory', until He leads justice to victory, it literally means. In other words, He will never cease to mend bruised reeds, and to fan smoking flaxes, until that last day in the great consternation when sin will be completely done away with, and all the consequences of sin will be banished forever from our persons and from the universe. As Paul said in Philippians 1:6: 'We ought to be confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in us will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ'.

Now listen to this - I don't want to blind you with English grammar, because I am certainly no expert of it, but there is a use in English of comparison and exaggeration which is called hyperbole. You may have heard of it, it's the use of exaggerated terms for emphasis and effect. Here's an example from the words of the Lord Jesus: 'It's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God'. Now a camel can't go through the eye of a needle - it's an exaggeration to make a point, it's hyperbole. Now what we have in verse 20 is not hyperbole, it's called 'litotes' in English grammar. It's ironical understatement, especially expressing an affirmative by the negative of its contrary. Now I know you don't understand, but let me give you an example of litotes - someone who says this: 'Running a marathon in under two hours is no small accomplishment', 'Running a marathon in under two hours is no small accomplishment'. In other words, what they're trying to say is that it is a huge accomplishment.

So if the Lord is using this phraseology, He is saying the positive in the negative: 'A smoking flax shall he not quench, a bruised reed shall he not break'. In other words, the opposite is what He is saying to an extreme and exaggerated state: that He will heal those who are bruised reeds, He will fan the flames of those who are smoking flaxes. He will treat with profound and genuine sympathy, tender concern, those who are exhausted, those who are at the end of their tether - Jesus is the Messiah for you!

So that's why, in Matthew's Gospel, we find Him imparting strength to the weak, to those who are pining away and ask for help - they get it. He heals the sick in chapters 4, 9, 11, 12. He seeks and saves tax collectors, Matthew himself and other sinners. He comforts mourners in chapter 5, He cheers the fearful in chapter 14, He reassures doubters in chapter 11, He feeds the famished 5000 in chapter 14, He even grants pardon to those who repent in chapter 9. What is Christ's attitude and action towards the bruised reed and the smoking flax? He'll never break a bruised reed. Some believers might, but He'll not. If you're a smoking flax, He'll never quench you.

What consolation can we take from such a text? Many, including myself I have to admit, feel like a broken reed and a smoking flax...

Finally and briefly, to delve in further in application of this wonderful truth: what consolation can we take from such a text? Many, including myself I have to admit, feel like a broken reed and a smoking flax. Let me share with you what consolation this text was to one great man of God. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in his book 'Preaching and Preachers' says this, I quote: 'I shall never cease to be grateful to one of the puritans called Richard Sibbes who was balm to my soul at a period in my life when I was overworked and badly overtired, and therefore subject in an unusual manner to the onslaughts of the devil. In that state and condition to read theology does not help, indeed it may well nigh be impossible - what you need is some gentle, tender treatment for your soul. Richard Sibbes' book 'The Bruised Reed' quieted, soothed, comforted, encouraged and healed me'.

Even in ministry, perhaps especially so - and I use that term 'ministry' in the broadest sense, not ministers, or pastors, or full-time workers, but all the ministry in God's work - you can often get bruised. Even great men like Martyn Lloyd-Jones get bruised. Maybe you can identify with him: overworked, badly overtired, subject in an unusual manner to the onslaughts of the evil one - is that you? Often Christians are ignorant to the fact that the body, soul and spirit are intricately connected. Often when the body is sick or tired, it can affect your soul and your spirit. Even this time of year, I've had my holidays, some of you haven't had it yet - but you're ready for it! Tired, exhausted, maybe you've had spiritual knocks that have bruised you, broken you, bumps, scratches, scrapes, and you're left smarting and bruising from some skirmish within or without. What do you need when you're in such a place?

Martyn Lloyd-Jones said he didn't need to read theology - you know, that's what Job's comforters gave him, theology! Some of it was good theology, but that wasn't what he needed! It's so easy to quote cliches, and even Scripture verses, when what is necessary is, as Lloyd-Jones says, some gentle treatment for your soul. He found it in Richard Sibbes' book 'The Bruised Reed', which of course is taken up with our text - but ultimately he found it in the words of the One who said: 'A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench'. Will you take consolation in it? Not in it, will you take consolation in Him? If you're a bruised reed today, what do you think the Lord's attitude towards you is? It would be interesting if we asked you all to put down on a bit of paper what you think the Lord's attitude to you is at this very moment.

If anything qualifies a man or woman to be saved, it is to feel their sin, and to feel that they have nothing to give - and that means you, my friend, if you feel like a bruised reed and a smoking flax...

The great 1965 motion picture 'The Agony and the Ecstasy', which I have not seen, portrayed Michelangelo the great artist on a scaffold, painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. There is this scene were the Pope, Julius II, Michelangelo's patron and often hard-driving taskmaster, mounts the scaffold in absolute fascination to see the great artist's depiction of God Himself. Looking into the face of God, Pope Julius asks Michelangelo: 'Is that how you see Him, my son?'. How do you see Him? It is my prayer that you will see Him, this morning, as One who will not break the bruised reed, will not quench the smoking flax - and that your soul too will be quieted, soothed, comforted, encouraged and healed.

Maybe you're not converted, and it is the weakness of your faith, your doubt, perhaps your sinfulness that you feel weighing very heavy upon you, that is what you feel excludes you from coming to the Lord Jesus for salvation. Can I say to you that if anything qualifies a man or woman to be saved, it is to feel their sin, and to feel that they have nothing to give - and that means you, my friend, if you feel like a bruised reed and a smoking flax. Maybe you're a backslider, and all there is is a spark of an ember of life in your soul. Christ wants to fan that to flame this morning. Every believer has their bruises and their brokenness - will you come to Christ?

Lord, we, all of us, need to continually come to the Lord Jesus, the Fountain of living water, the Bread from heaven - we always need to come, day by day, and we come afresh for more grace, for more help. May the bruised reeds in this place this morning find the Saviour who raises the fallen, cheers the faint, heals the sick, and leads the blind. In His lovely name we pray, Amen.

Transcribed by:
Preach The Word.
July 2006

This sermon was delivered at The Iron Hall Assembly in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by Pastor David Legge. It was transcribed from the recording titled "The Bruised Reed" - Transcribed by Preach The Word.

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