DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2021-01-27
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS
BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 9:11-13
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)
BIBLE TEXT: 11 When those known as the Pharisees saw what was happening, they were indignant, and they kept asking Jesus’ disciples, “Why would your Master dine with such lowlifes?”
12 When Jesus overheard this, he spoke up and said, “Healthy people don’t need to see a doctor, but the sick[f] will go for treatment.”13 Then he added, “Now you should go and study the meaning of the verse: I want you to show mercy, not just offer me a sacrifice.[g] For I have come to invite the outcasts of society and sinners, not those who think they are already on the right path.”[h]
OBSERVATION: I find it intriguing how we often find in our lives today, very similar challenges to that of Jesus’ day. Perhaps, today as we meditate on this Scripture, we could evaluate whether that might be because of us being human, just like Jesus was dealing with in His earthly days, or whether we have just hardened our hearts to not do what Jesus taught us to do. What if we were ‘tested’ by God today, would we pass the test?
APPLICATION: I believe that the whole idea of a daily devotional is that we keep hoping that as we try to focus our minds on Jesus Christ, we will continue our learning about what He desires of us, and perhaps our hearts might be stirred to doing the perfect will of the Father. Unfortunately, we are very quick to point fingers at what seems wrong to us. Imagine seeing your pastor, or a church leader having lunch with a known criminal, or one from a profession known for its criminal or worldly actions? How would you respond? Perhaps like you never saw him? Perhaps call someone from your church and share your concern (or gossip) with them so that together you could approach the pastor about his actions? But wait, what sin? I believe that we tend to feel a sense of achievement when we could report another Christian for something that appears wrong to us – even if we don’t know all the intricate details of the visit? That’s a similar story to what the Pharisees found with Jesus. He was dining and chatting with questionable people from society, instead of church goers or church leaders. Surely that’s not what a holy and righteous prophet or godly leader would do in all good conscience. Surely He wasn’t meeting with them in hopes of converting them, right? But let’s carefully study what Jesus responded to this accusation. First, let’s assume that God would not go to the extreme of sacrificing His Son, if there was not good reason. If everyone was already saved and looking forward to heaven, they would not need help. But our all-knowing God was well aware that there were many on earth who needed help to turn away from sin and instead live with their minds fixed on God and His home in heaven. So to achieve His purpose, who do you suppose Jesus concentrated on helping and directing? You got it, those who needed it – they needed a Savior. So in applying this Scripture to our lives, who should we be hanging around? Who should we be ministering to? Who should we be specifically showing mercy to? Friends, Jesus emphasized that He wants us to be much more devoted to showing mercy to those who need it, instead of settling for our gifts to send help, or our prayers for others to give help on our behalf. If each of us show mercy that might help at least one person per day, I believe they will see God, and they may even decide that they need Him as Lord of their life. Imagine the math on how many will see mercy extended to them? They will know that God is still alive and indeed loves them like a true Father would. I hope that you are willing to do your part for the Kingdom today, God being your helper.
PRAYER: Thank You Father for showing mercy on me, by forgiving me of my sin and assuring me of my home in Heaven! There is no greater love, and there is no greater gift that any person could ask for. Please help my readers and I to extend mercy to all those that we come into contact with, so that others will be reminded of our Savior and have a greater desire to surrender lordship to Him. May Your mercy towards us, become incentive for us to share mercy with others around us. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!