Wednesday, July 04, 2012

July 4 - Why Does He Eat with Sinners?

Today's Reading:
Ezekiel 3:16-6:14
Matthew 9:1-17
Proverbs 11:19-28
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Focus Verses: Matthew 9:10-13
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."

The question: "Why does Jesus eat with sinners?" The answer: "Mercy." Religion that has lost sight of redemption is very far from what God desires. God desires mercy!

Having a zeal for rules is not the same thing as having a heart for God. The whole point of identifying sin is to help sinners find redemption and forgiveness. Even the mosaic laws regarding sacrifice were intended to accomplish mercy.

We’re all spiritually sick and in need of a doctor. Only the arrogant, those blind to their own sinfulness and need for forgiveness, can look at the sins of others with contempt.

Response & Action:
I will humble myself before God and look to his hand for mercy and redemption. I will follow Jesus' example of merciful fellowship and redemptive friendship. I will eat with sinners. I will not love religion at the expense of loving people. I will not think of myself as better than others. I will break down the walls of self-righteousness that become barriers to the giving and receiving of God's grace. I must live with humility, always remembering that I am a sinner saved by the mercy and grace of God.

Have mercy on me, O God, a sinner. Thank you for the hope and healing that you offer to me through Jesus. Thank you that he emptied himself and lived among us, touching us, and sharing our humanity. Help me, through the presence of your Holy Spirit, to live out the mercy of Jesus in my daily life. Help me share hope, healing, and redemption with everyone around me. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: James 1:8-98 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

Eats with Sinners
by Arron Chambers

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