In the Gospel St. Matthew identified Jesus with the Suffering Servant in Chapter Forty-Two of Isaiah. That picture promised the people a savior who was the opposite of what they wanted. David had given them to expect a messiah riding a horse, and followed by the choicest maidens. Instead Isaiah asked them to accept this model of meekness who would never raise his voice.
All that can be said of Isaiah’s picture when we put it up against the one predicted by David is that it was the one that won out.
It makes you think of Jesus, not only as bearing up under the heavy cross, but silently bearing up with the jibes of the crowd. One form of prayers we used for the Stations of the Cross referred to the crowds as “the rude and scoffing multitude.” Do you think they hurt Jesus? They certainly did.
But Jesus was like a gymnasium’s old punching bag that hangs on there after all the feisty boxers are aged and gone. If in imitation of Christ you can stand up under all the troubles life throws at you, you too will win in the end.
His being like the bruised reed and smoldering wick might make you see him as a model for teachers with slow students. Reeds are used for writing, so a bruised reed could symbolize a student who has trouble expressing ideas. Wicks are used for reading, so a smoldering one could symbolize a child who has trouble learning. A Christ-like teacher would not break the one or quench the other.