Bible Reference: Matthew 9:11-13
Translation: The Message (MSG)
Bible Text: 11 When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus’ followers. “What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff?” 12-13 Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion.’ I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.”
OBSERVATION: Imagine God sacrificing His precious Son so that saved folk might receive Jesus and be saved. Would that really make any sense? Without even digging into the scriptures, would it not make more sense that Jesus came to save those who are unsaved? So what about Christians, and churches today, do we exist to promote, pat on the back and lead the Christians in our community? Food for thought, isn’t it?
APPLICATION: Jesus knew that He would get the attention of the Pharisees, who were out to ‘get Him’ through every word that He spoke or every action that they saw, so He chose to include a reference to one of His prophets from their past, Hosea. In verse 13 Jesus referenced the words of Hosea 6:6, to give His critical hearers some reference to something familiar. It is sad to reflect on, but I believe that Jesus might be just as critical of Christians today. Not that we are necessarily looking for ways to find fault with Jesus and His miracles, but if our pastors and church leaders were to truly place a strong emphasis on the unsaved of our communities, what might our ‘prim and proper’ saints have to say when our attention turns away from them? Assume for a moment that every time you saw your pastor, he was either having lunch with, or sitting down with a rebel, or a known sinner. What might satan start putting in your head? What if you came to church this weekend and your seat was taken by someone you’ve never seen before, dressed in ragged clothes and looking very out of place? A good friend visiting my church with me was once asked by a lady to move, as that was her seat. Don’t you know that if something similar happened to a visitor without Christ, they may just walk straight on out the back door? You see, I believe that when we invite a member of the community to come and worship with us, they might very well assume that everyone is equal at the Master’s feet, and therefore gives them the privilege of sitting on the front roe or the back. Although feeling unworthy, or out of class with the other attendees, they may actually feel like Christians might be happy to see them finally come to church, rather than making them feel like rejects or out of place, or perhaps in their way by sitting in their favorite seat. Friends, I believe that Christians have become so accustomed to attending church with their same family members and friends, that it may even bother them to have some ‘strangers’ pop in and actually sit near by them. Don’t you see that this might also prevent us from inviting folk who really need the Lord, from attending, and hopefully find our Master, and accept him as Lord? Can’t you see from our Scripture today, that Jesus came so that we might be saved from the pit of hell? Don’t you know that means more than just you and your closely knit friends and family? May I encourage each reader, together with myself, to first of all examine our own heart, make sure that personally we are a follower of the King, patiently waiting for His return. And while we wait, let us place every effort into sharing with all those that we come into contact with each day. I truly believe that Jesus has ordained His kids to be His ambassadors here on earth with a mission to tell of His love, His mercy and His saving grace for all who would place their trust in Him. Whenever you see someone who needs the Lord, let that remind you how that’s the whole reason Jesus came, and it may very well be the whole reason God left you here on earth – to share His love with them and their need for the Lord.
PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for making me whole, thank You Lord for giving to me, Thy great salvation, so rich and free. Lord, may I not be a holding tank of that precious gift, but merely a channel that enables You to share that gift to all those that I come into contact with. There are many who need You in our communities Lord, may my readers and I be usable instruments through which Your love and Your message could reach the unsaved today, and every day until You return. AMEN!