Matthew quotes this Scripture from Isaiah 42 directly following his account of a dramatic healing. Jesus restores a man’s shriveled hand to wholeness before everyone’s astonished eyes. Then He goes on to heal every last sick person in a nearby massive crowd. Finally, Matthew wraps up the story by telling us that all this radical demonstration of God’s goodness is a fulfillment of the this beautiful prophecy given through Isaiah.
Holy Spirit sets it up this way because He wants us to see the source of Jesus’ powerful effectiveness in carrying out Daddy’s work. He does this because He wants to replicate this effectiveness in our own lives. He is pointing to Jesus, and Jesus’ way of living, as our example to follow. He urges us to “Take a careful look at my servant” for a reason. He knows that, in watching Jesus’ modus operandi, we will learn the right way to operate. Holy Spirit is beckoning us to live and function the same way Jesus did.
This model of operation boils down to two foundational principles, both found in this verse:
- Drinking of divine delight.
As we lean into this text, we hear Daddy proclaiming to the four winds about His Son, “I love him dearly and I find all my delight in him!” His heart is overflowing. The TPT footnote on this bolded phrase fills my heart with joy: “The Aramaic is literally ‘He has sun-shined my being.’” Isn’t that beautiful? Jesus sun-shines Daddy’s being. He brings Him inexpressible joy; joy even greater than the sunbeams that come to bring relief to our soul after a night of weeping.
Jesus knew to drink in Daddy’s utter delight in Him. He drank it in every morning; during every lengthy time of prayer. He made getting away with Daddy His top priority, to drink in Daddy’s rejoicing in Him. Once His heart was full to overflowing with sunshine, Jesus would then go out and do astounding things like restore wilted, withered hands to wholeness.
- Absolute dependency on Holy Spirit’s empowering.
Daddy had also announced in this passage, “I will breathe My Spirit upon [My Son].” This was a non-negotiable for Jesus. In fact, Jesus told us frankly that He couldn’t do anything on His own (John 5:30). This is the vulnerable arrangement to which He submitted when He stepped into the embryo prepared for His habitation. Incarnation meant utter dependence.
Acts 10:38 describes for us how it worked: “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil…” (NKJV). Jesus didn’t get the power to heal all those people from His divine position as the only begotten of the Father. He got it from the anointing of the Holy Spirit resting on Him and flowing through Him.
Both of these foundational tenets are for us. Jesus modeled them, in order to pass them onto us. He has given them to us. They are ours. So listen with your spirit… Daddy is shouting the same earth-shattering truth to the four winds about you: when you cuddle into His bosom, you sunshine His soul. His insides light up with exuberant delight.
Cuddle in closer. Stay there for a while, in His arms. Listen to His heartbeat. Soak in His deep, deep love for you, until you overflow. You know, you won’t be able to do anything eternally significant on your own today. So absorb His Holy Spirit power flowing into your being as you soak. With and in and through Him, you will be absolutely unstoppable.
Now, when you are filled up to brimming over with Him, go get it! There’s tremendous good waiting for you to do in the hours ahead, by His power, and His power alone!
Did Jesus really mean it, that He could do nothing on His own?