Calling all ‘sinners’!
Scripture reading for April 18th: Matthew 9, Psalm 77, Proverbs 15
Matthew 9: 9-13 “Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me.” And he rose and followed Him. And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when He heard it, He said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.””
All men are ‘sinners’ and are in need of healing. Self-realization of this truth can come only to those humble enough to listen to the Master and open their heart to truth. Matthew, a notorious tax collector, heard the call of Jesus and decided to follow. He was so overcome, he invited all his friends, many who were also hated tax-collectors, to come and dine with Jesus and listen to His teaching. As Jesus sat and ate with these ‘sinners’, the religious community had questions and disdain that Jesus would defile Himself. Jesus gently asked them to go and find out the meaning of ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ Jesus came to show God’s mercy for those needing it most and recognizing that truth.
Psalm 77:13-14 “Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God Who works wonders; You have made known Your might among the peoples.”
Prayer: Father God, You alone are holy and full of mercy and compassion for those most sinful and worthy of judgment. Thank You for gently correcting those who mis-understood You and were judging others. Help me to see others with Your eyes and to show mercy through preaching Jesus Christ and Your Gospel of grace through faith. Make my tongue a tree of life through the Holy Spirit empowering me.
Proverbs 15:3-4 “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”
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