The School Year Begins #5

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Just What Is a Smoking Flax?

The Gospel of Matthew says of Jesus, "A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench. . . ."


A teacher said, "The smoking flax would be like a spent match. You know how, once the flame is extinguished, there's smoke? That's the picture."

Another commentator said that this would be like the wick of a lamp just before it finally gutters out. Usually you would extinguish such a pathetic light.

And yet we have this picture of Jesus, so gentle, blowing this nothingness back to light and life.

And the first part of that passage, about the bruised reed? My mental picture with that is something like a sock that has a worn spot. Have you ever had a threadbare spot, and with a little nudge of your finger, you put a hole in the cloth? Or maybe like when you bite the inside of your cheek, and then it doesn't heal for a week, because you keep biting it or playing with it?

It's easy to do!

And yet the picture of Jesus is the opposite of that. He doesn't put extra pressure on the bruised part of the reed, mindlessly destroying the reed.

Oh—and it's a reed. I don't live in Israel, but I suspect that reeds there are rather like grass here. They grow. There's a lot of them. Any individual one isn't worth much, because you can always get another one.

But here are these beautiful pictures of Jesus, gently caring even for the bruised reed, tenderly blowing back to life the smoking wick.

Receive this gentleness of Jesus.


Amy's pic

Amy Lykosh
John and Sarita's oldest daughter
Second-generation Sonlighter
Homeschooling mom to five

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