Friday 25 July, 2014

Matthew 12:1-8

12 One Sabbath day Jesus walked through the grainfields. His disciples were hungry. So they began to break off some heads of grain and eat them. 2 The Pharisees saw this. They said to Jesus, “Look! It is against the Law to do this on the Sabbath. But your disciples are doing it anyway!” 3 Jesus answered, “Haven’t you read about what David did? He and his men were hungry. 4 So he entered the house of God. He and his men ate the holy bread. Only priests were allowed to eat it. 5 Haven’t you read the Law? It tells how every Sabbath day the priests in the temple have to do their work on that day. But they are not considered guilty. 6 “I tell you that one who is more important than the temple is here. 7 Scripture says, ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice.’ (Hosea 6:6) You don’t know what those words mean. If you did, you would not bring charges against those who are not guilty. 8 The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath day.”

I read this passage and I see Jesus challenging the efforts of man to set up a religious system that makes some people (those who run the system) feel good, and causes everyone else to walk around feeling condemned and therefore guilty. I don’t see Jesus here being a rebel and a lawbreaker, but rather teaching mankind what true freedom is. The Jesus kind of freedom is freedom from our prideful but bitterly disappointing efforts at proving ourselves worthy of God’s love, acceptance, and in this case, provision of something to eat.

Jesus has come to set me free from all my vain efforts to prove myself worthy of God’s love, acceptance and provision. God never made me to need to prove myself worthy. Sin, on the other hand, will work me up into such a state where I have to prove myself before God and anyone else around me that I am worthy of God’s love, acceptance, and provision. Jesus calms my raging sin-storm within, kills my sin-inspired and bitter disappointment, and renews me in love, acceptance and provision that I have not had to work for. I simply believe he truly does love, accept, and provide for me, and position myself each day to walk in nothing less. Thanks be to God!

God, I ask that you would reveal to me where I am allowing sin to work me up into efforts that will never cause me to receive your wonderful love, acceptance and provision. Lord, I repent of such sinful attitudes and their associated efforts, and come to you in thankful worship accepting what you do in me through Jesus alone. May you receive all the Glory for this wonderful work of freedom you are doing in me. Amen.

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

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