BY: Pastor Brad
TITLE: What Does God Desire?
CHAPTER READ: Matthew 9
SCRIPTURE SELECTED: Matthew 9:9-13
9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. 10 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.”
Jesus is eating with people who would be considered unclean and when questioned, his response is to learn what is meant by, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” He is taking a quote from the book of Hosea. During that time sacrifice had become a display of righteousness to cover up the fact that the nation of Israel was no longer worshipping God. The Pharisees were on a quest to make themselves holy, but along the way, they forgot that God desires the heart. Jesus is building relationships and loving those around him. God wants his people to love more than he wants them to observe the rituals that help keep us holy. They aren’t bad things, but if we don’t love, then we are lost.
Jesus’ comment forces us to think about our lives and make sure that we are taking the time to love. Feeding homeless is a good thing, but if you don’t know the names of the people you’re feeding, then it might be time to consider asking. We are called to love first and foremost.
My prayer for us is that we continue to pursue holiness, but that we do it out of love.
Scripture: Matthew 9:27-31
27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” 28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.
Observation: True Sight
The first thing to note is that these blind men not only had faith that Christ could heal them, they also noted his true identity. The claim, Son of David, not only referring to his genealogy but his messianic nature. Even though they were blind, they were more insightful than many of the age. They recognized he was the Messiah and had true faith in him as the Messiah and not just a healer. Their recognition though of who he was, was not the means in which they were saved and healed. It is the power of faith that gained them access to the power of Christ in their lives and healing. Just sheer knowledge of Christ does not grant us access to him or his power of transformation, it is through true faith in who he is and what he can accomplish in our lives.
Application: Knowledge & Faith
It is one thing to know the facts or truths of God’s word, it is another to have faith in them. Sometimes we can consume so much knowledge of God and even acknowledge he is the Messiah, but never put our full faith in him and his promises. We must not only take down truths of sermons, classes, and bible studies. We must take it in and let our faith combined with the power of the Spirit to transform us and work in our lives.
Prayer: Strengthen My Faith
May I not only understand and learn your word but that I may also apply it to my life and heart. Strengthen my faith in you and your truths. Amen.