Tag Archives: Pharisee

A Reason to Rejoice!

Image Credit: William Hole
Image Credit:
William Hole

9 As Jesus was walking along, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow Me and be My disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed Him.

 

10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and His disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. 11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”

 

12 When Jesus heard this, He said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” 13 Then He added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

~ Matthew 9:9-13 — NLT ~

ocsoldier.blogspot.com
ocsoldier.blogspot.com

Imagine what Matthew must have felt like when Jesus called him. He was a Jew, and yet he was hated by his fellow Jews because he worked for Herod Antipas, collecting taxes from the people. Not only that, tax collectors had a reputation of being extremely corrupt, extorting far more money from citizens than what the actual taxes were. Therefore, knowing how his people felt about him, with good reason, imagine how Matthew must have felt when Jesus came to his tax booth, and looking him straight in the eye, invited him to join His disciples.

Image Credit: http://vimeo.com/62820471
Image Credit:
http://vimeo.com/62820471

I can’t help but wonder how Matthew felt. Did he hurry and leave his tax booth immediately to follow Jesus, joyfully bidding his fellow tax collectors and other sinners that he knew, a fond farewell, inviting them to join him for dinner later that evening, where Jesus would be the distinguished guest of honor?  I can only wonder at his joy and excitement.

As he followed Jesus that first day, what words of wisdom did he hear? Did he witness any miracles or deliverances that day? As he walked along with the One who was the Way, the Truth and the Life, did he feel humbled and grateful?

Later that evening, after spending his first day with Jesus, Matthew must have been overflowing with joy as his guests began to arrive and he proudly introduced them to Jesus. How his joy must have melted into shame as he heard the Pharisees questioning the disciples…

But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”

~ Matthew 9:11 — NLT ~

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Image Credit:
tvaraj2inspirations.wordpress.com/

Have you ever felt like dirt? Have you ever been on the mountaintop, only to have someone trash you, revealing all of your shortcomings and weaknesses to those you most wanted to love you? Do you know what its like to feel exposed and vulnerable? I suspect Matthew may have felt like that for awhile, until Jesus responded to the Pharisees…

12 When Jesus heard this, He said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” 13 Then He added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

~ Matthew 9:12-13 — NLT ~

Image Credit: everydaywithgrace.com
Image Credit:
everydaywithgrace.com

Can you even begin to imagine the joy and the relief Matthew must have felt as heard Jesus’ words? The Pharisees hadn’t revealed anything that Jesus didn’t already know! He already knew of Matthew’s sins, as well as those of his friends, but He chose to give them mercy and grace.

Jesus was the great physician, who had come to heal the sin-sick tax collectors and disreputable sinners, He, who had never sinned, never lied, and never cheated, wasn’t ashamed to be associated with Matthew and his sinful friends. Instead of condemning the sinners, Jesus had come to call them, just as He had called Matthew and all of the other disciples.

What’s more, not only did Jesus defend Matthew and the other sinners, He also did the unthinkable. How shocked Matthew, the other disciples, and the sinners must have been… How shocked the Pharisees must have been, when Jesus rebuked them as He ordered them to leave…

… “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.

~ Matthew 9:13 — NLT ~

Hallelujah! This scripture passage gives me such hope, as it should to everyone who reads this post and realizes that they too are sinners who have fallen short of the glory of God. Yes, I’ve sinned. I’ve made such a mess of so many things in my life, and I am fully aware of my weaknesses.

So, my beloved readers, how do you feel about this scripture passage? Does it bless your heart? When you read it, do you feel peace? Love? Joy? Hope? Leave me a comment and let me know how this scripture passage makes you feel. May the Lord bless you, my friends!

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Words of Jesus – I Did Not Come to Abolish the Law of Moses

“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the Law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to fulfill them. I assure you, until heaven and earth disappear, even the smallest detail of God’s Law will remain until its purpose is achieved. So if you break the smallest commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s Laws and teaches them will be great in the Kingdom of Heaven. But I warn you — unless you obey God better than the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees do, you can’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven at all!” (Matthew 5:17-20 NLT)

Moses with the Tables of the Law
Moses with the Tables of the Law (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is for everyone who quotes the Apostle Paul when he said,  “All things are lawful unto me…” 

Let’s get this straight… First of all, it really irritates me when people quote scripture out of context… Many Christians quote the Apostle Paul and use this to justify their sin. I like to look at the whole scripture in its context, so that we have an accurate understanding of what Paul was saying… I also like the New Living Translation, because this translation clearly expresses what Paul was saying in his letter to the Corinthians…

Don’t you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers — none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God. There was a time when some of you were just like that, but now your sins have been washed away, and you have been set apart for God. You have been made right with God because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you. You may say, “I am allowed to do anything.” But I reply, “Not everything is good for you.” And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything (1 Corinthians 6:9-12 NLT).

faithfultotruth.blogspot.com/2011/04/humanitys-gain-from-unbelief-charles.html
faithfultotruth.blogspot.com/2011/04/humanitys-gain-from-unbelief-charles.html

Do you see? Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean that we should. Paul makes it very clear that those who live in sin will have no part in the Kingdom of God. It’s the same when people try to excuse their sin by saying, “I don’t live under the Law – that was for the Old Covenant. I live under the New Covenant.”

To be sure, we don’t live under the Old Covenant. As a matter of fact, for those of us who are Gentiles who have been grafted in, we are not bound by many of the Old Testament laws… But, it’s important for us to understand that this doesn’t mean that we’re lawless. Jesus didn’t come to break the Law. He didn’t come to end the Law. “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the Law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to fulfill them. I assure you, until heaven and earth disappear, even the smallest detail of God’s Law will remain until its purpose is achieved. So if you break the smallest commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s Laws and teaches them will be great in the Kingdom of Heaven. But I warn you — unless you obey God better than the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees do, you can’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven at all!” (Matthew 5:17-20 NLT)

Look what Jesus is saying. He said He didn’t come to do away with the Law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. Jesus said He came to fulfill them, and that even the smallest detail of God’s Law will remain until its purpose is achieved… Further, He gives us a warning that unless we obey God better than the teachers of the law and the Pharisees did, we won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven at all!

http://energybibleinoneyear.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/love-the-lord-your-god-with-all-your-heart-soul-mind-and-strength/

That makes it pretty clear, doesn’t it? So, like the teacher of religious law, our next question should be, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the One and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these” (Mark 12:28b-31 NLT).

The most important command is to love the Lord my God with all of my heart. That means with every beat of my heart, I am to love Him. I am to love Him with all of my soul – every one of my emotions must adore Him. I must love Him with all of my mind – as I meditate on His attributes, I can’t help but love Him. And I am to love Him with all of my strength. That means that my body is not my own any longer to do with as I please. Rather, I give my body in love to Him, so that every move I make, every breath I take, is an expression of love to my Savior!

Jesus said that the second greatest command was equally important. I must love my neighbor – anyone I come in contact with – as myself. I must treat my neighbor with love and respect, regardless of how they treat me. If I want to be forgiven, and I do, then I must forgive my neighbor… my father, my mother, my enemies…

By obeying these two commands, I am obeying the 10 Commandmentsthe Law of Moses. 

Lord, help me to obey Your commands. Let me love as You love, forgive as You forgive. Lord, increase my love for You and let me be a woman after Your own heart. In Jesus’ mighty, holy name I pray. Amen

© 2012

Cheryl A. Showers