March 9

Text: Matthew 9:11-13

 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, "Why is your Teacher eating with the tax-gatherers and sinners?"  But when He heard this, He said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.  But go and learn what this means, 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (NASB)

Congregations of the church always have had problems accepting people who were not “just like us.”  “Everyone knows God likes us best.  We do things the way He likeseH—He may tolerate others, but He loves us!  His love for us is more than for others!”

You can see this attitude in this text, in Acts 6:1-6, in Acts 15:1-21, in Romans 14:1-12, and today.  It can be lifestyle differences, language differences, ancestry differences, cultural differences, or racial differences, but the message is always the same: “God likes us best—after all, He likes what we like!”  Be careful!  The dividing line with God is between faith and faithlessness—no matter “how we do it.”

Jesus came to bless those who needed him, not those already genuinely devoted to God who respected God’s values.  In God’s values, compassion was of greater significance than sacrifice.

To a people whose devotion to God was based on a sacrificial system, these were strange thoughts!  God being interested in people who were sinful was unthinkable.  After all (like too many of us), it was a matter of obeying God’s instructions—doing the right thing at the right place at the right time.  It was a matter of crossing your “t s” and dotting your “i s.” Motives had nothing to do with divine acceptability!

Will God consult you about deciding who is righteous?  How do your relationships reflect God’s values?

Suggestion for reflection: Who would be God’s # 1—an African, an Indian, an American, or a 1st generation Christian outside of America?  Why?  (Read Isaiah 1:2-6, 10-17.)

David's Home Page Previous Day Index Next Day

 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell