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“He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?” Matthew 12:11 NIV

The passage today’s verse is found in is one of the reasons I love Jesus.  Jesus and His boys are hanging out on the Sabbath. God appointed one day a week as rest, that day is known as the Sabbath.  No work is to be done, yet here we find the disciples feeding themselves (Matthew 12:1 NIV).   The law abiding religious folks, Pharisees, judged their actions as sinful; and confronted them.  Jesus, the master of confrontation, knew exactly what to do.

The Pharisees, knew all of the Old Testament inside and out.  They carried around scrolls with the laws written on them. There are 613 laws that they spent their time trying to enforce.  Jesus knew these laws better than anyone. He knew it was impossible for man to live up to them. No one is capable of keeping all of those laws.  Jesus came to fulfill them for us once and for all, which He did on the cross. Jesus understood the Pharisees way of thinking. He understood how to talk to them.  Jesus doesn’t waste time, He speaks to our hearts.

 Jesus doesn’t waste time, He speaks to our hearts.

Jesus response to His accusers is simple.  He reminded them of what they already knew.  He reminded them David had eaten from the temple on the Sabbath.  Jesus reminded them about the priests who desecrated the temple, yet were innocent   He speaks to their hearts, telling them they don’t understand mercy. And then He makes His final point. He tells them He is Lord of the Sabbath.  And why is it important that Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath? Because He is the epitome of grace and mercy. The full story is found in Matthew 12:1-8 NIV.

Lord, if I could be more like You.  If I could judge less and love more, how much better the world would be.  If we could all show mercy to those who falter, our world would be brighter.  Jesus understood the fundamental principle we forget, none of us are perfect. We all make mistakes.  We all need mercy and forgiveness. None of us are capable of keeping all of the “laws.” Jesus had mercy on the Pharisees.  He showed them a new way to think by reminding them of the past. He showed them mercy. It was up to them to accept it, just like it’s up to us.  Jesus offers us mercy for our mistakes, it’s up to us to take it.

Question of the Day:

What area of your life do you need to accept the mercy Jesus is offering you?

Further Reading:Genesis 35:1-36:43 NIV, Matthew 12:1-21NIV, Psalm 15:1-5 NIV, Proverbs 3:21-26 NIV

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