Archive for May 23rd, 2017

Matthew 12

Matthew 12 has Jesus being chased by the religious leaders.  The disciples were hungry and plucked some heads of grain to fill their stomach.  The Pharisees get all bent out of shape and accuse them of violating the law. “Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath”.  Jesus takes them on head on.  He then goes into the temple and meets a man there with a whithered hand.  They ask “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—  so that they might accuse him”.

The religious leaders want to trip Jesus up.  He asks them a question about caring for their sheep on the Sabbath, and then gives them the answer: “So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath”.  That wasn’t the satisfactory answer in the mind of the religious leaders.  They were very upset and “the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him”.  Jesus launches into a discussion of how evil begats evil and good produces good.  Fruit that is bad comes from bad trees.  Fruit that is good from good trees.

Jesus draws a line in the sand.  “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters”.  Faith is a black and white proposition.  Jesus isn’t something that can be partial – it’s an all or nothing proposition.  You can’t sort of believe in Him.  You have to make a choice – to believe and receive His gift of grace on the cross that pays for the penalty of sin, or to face the holy God that will judge us based on how we have lived.  Jesus makes it clear what we’re going to face.  “On the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned”.

We’re going to face God and have to explain how we have lived.  God is holy and just – He won’t be able to tolerate sin.  So unless we are able to stand before Him and give an account that completely aligns with His law and standards we’re going to fall short.  Scripture is clear that every one of us will be in that position – guilty of sin and without excuse.  That’s when our decision about Jesus will come into play.  If we’ve got a personal relationship with Him as our Savior and Lord, His shed blood will cover our sin and God will invite us to spend eternity with Him.  If we don’t, we’ll stand there on our own merit and fall short.  “The tree is known by its fruit”. We’ll be seen as sinners and evil in God’s sight.  We need Jesus.  Now is the time to get right with God.

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