January 16, Reading 3 – Matthew 12:1-21

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Verse 14 tells us a tragic truth. There will always be people whose hearts are ruled by jealousy, malice, envy and the other deeds of sinful flesh (Galatians 5:19-21). Never be surprised when people respond to a wonderful event with anger and malice. It is also good to reflect on what Jesus said re the Sabbath.

SJA Notes

* Loving God, please show us Your love today through Your word.

“And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.'”

A second time (see Matthew 9) Jesus calls out the church leadership for not understanding and putting into practice God’s desire for MERCY over SACRIFICE.

As with them, so with us.

We get things so wrong don’t we!

We can be so blind in our sin to the fabric of the universe, the fundamental rules that God reveals in His word.

Do we witness in mercy when we speak to people about Jesus?

In the book of Job (old testament) Job and his three friends get into a great big old debate.

Bildad, one of the friends, gives a very staunchly religious zero-love-and-mercy platitude , and Job responds in chapter 26 with echoes of Jesus’ words,

“How you have helped him who has no power! How you have saved the arm that has no strength! How you have counseled him who has no wisdom, and plentifully declared sound knowledge!”

The sacrifice of the Pharisees was the same sacrifice we make – We think we can earn ourselves good religion, credits in heaven and here on earth, and so we make rule on rule, structure on structure.

And in so doing we cause mercy to fade away, because mercy cannot exist when we seek to earn by our own merit.

This is not God’s way.

Jesus calls us to MERCY.

How do we help those who don’t know Jesus? How do we speak to them?

We need mercy in our thoughts, words and in our actions.

Mercy means we don’t get what we deserve. Mercy saw Jesus take on the full cost of our sin, the actual proper and true sacrifice, the only one that matters – Now and then, once for all time.

Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

* Gracious Father,

Thank You that Jesus is the sacrifice that matters. That He shows us Your mercy.

Thank You that You wrote our names in the book of life before the world was made.

Please help us to grow more toward You each day, showing forth Your mercy in our lives.

Amen.

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