THE BRUISED REED, by Richard Sibbes

Published on November 22, 2023 by Eugene Ho

Banner of Truth, 2021 | 160 pages

A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance

by Steve West


This book is part of the Banner of Truth’s box set of Puritan Classics. Sibbes’ original work was first published in 1630.


Table of Contents

1 The Reed and the Bruising
2 Christ Will Not Break the Bruised Reed
3 The Smoking Flax
4 Christ Will Not Quench the Smoking Flax
5 The Spirit of Mercy Should Move Us
6 Marks of the Smoking Flax
7 Help for the Weak
8 Duties and Discouragements
9 Believe Christ, Not Satan
10 Quench Not the Spirit
11 Christ’s Judgment and Victory
12 Christ’s Wise Government
13 Grace Shall Reign
14 Means to Make Grace Victorious
15 Christ’s Public Triumph
16 Through Conflict to Victory




Chapter 1: The Reed and the Bruising

Isaiah foresaw the ministry of Christ, the Servant of the Lord, and he proclaimed that a bruised reed he would not break; this is fulfilled in Matthew 12. The highest service God sets for his Son is to be our Redeemer and Savior. Enter into and embrace this great love of God and the security that is ours in Jesus. Christ came and served with modesty and quietness, gently dealing with the weak and broken. We are all bruised reeds. A bruised reed knows misery and realizes that they are helpless in their sin. Bruising shows us our sin and our desperate need for mercy. It also reminds us after our conversion that we are reeds, not oaks. Paul was given a thorn in the flesh, and many godly people experience bruising after bruising.


Chapter 2: Christ Will Not Break the Bruised Reed

When we are told that Christ will not break the bruised reed it is a litotes: the meaning is that he will heal and bless. Christ exercises his office graciously and mercifully. He was gentle of heart and filled with compassion. He died so that we can live. Given his graciousness, let us come boldly to the throne of grace to find the help that we need. Let us sue for joy and peace in forgiveness. Satan means to destroy but Christ means to heal and restore. Christ knows that he needs to wound us before we will lean on him for healing. The bruised reed is not merely those who suffer trials, but those who through their trials acknowledge their sin. Such ones hate sin more than anything, tremble at God’s Word, and evaluate those who are walking close to Christ in holiness as the happiest of all people. God works to bruise us so that we repent, and we must submit to his judgment rather than resist it if we would be healed and forgiven. Being bruised causes us to hate our sin and prize Christ above all else. Those who feel unworthy of forgiveness and comfort are closest to it. . . .

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THE BRUISED REED, by Richard Sibbes

Banner of Truth, 2021 | 160 pages

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