Wednesday Word 3.06.2019

Matthew 9:9-13 New International Version

As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. 10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

We had two scriptures last Sunday. Acts 2:42-47 spoke to us about what the newly born church looked like for the believers and how we should go about being the church today. Then we also heard about what happened when Matthew was called to be a disciple. It got me to thinking; maybe I should follow the instructions that Jesus gave for the Pharisees when they took umbrage at the new company he was keeping. Jesus said, “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy not sacrifice.’” What does that mean?

According to several commentaries I read, Jesus was quoting Hosea 6:6, “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.” Israel had strayed far from God and taken up many terrible practices. God was angry and bitterly disappointed at their wanton behavior. Why in the world didn’t the people understand? Going through the motions while making all the customary sacrifices of crops and animals, in and of themselves, are meaningless to God. Especially when they people continued on their idolatrous path. What he wants is for the people to get it! That means you and me. For us to recognize that he is God Almighty. For us to love him back. The Message says “I’m after love that lasts, not more religion.”

God knows that we are sinners. (If you don’t think you are, then you are guilty of pride. “In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” Psalm 10:42). It isn’t the big show that matters. He wants us to know him and love him with everything that we are. Then he wants us to reflect that love on our world. When you think about what he did for us, that is definitely not too much to ask…something to pray about.

Your sister in Christ, Vicki

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