Friday, March 24, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 50

                           Image result for Book of Matthew

Day 50: I Want to See Jesus

Please read the Bible verse for today:
Matthew 12:1-14

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

12 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”
'At that time..." Jesus had just told the crowd, 28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) Jesus is with his disciples now and He gives them rest. He walks them through the grainfields. Could He have walked around the grainfield? Probably. But He knew they were hungry, so the path was now one of restoration. One where they didn't have to wait until they got into town to buy food. One where they didn't have to sit in a boat and fish for food. Jesus knew they were hungry and laid it before them- the burden of hunger was lifted. It was easy and light, just like He said. 
I remember a time where I had surrendered my desire, as silly as this may sound, for new couches for my den. We just couldn't afford new ones. I surrenederd, in my prayer time, to the Lord my hope for couches. The next day the Lord spoke to my spirit, "Today you will find your couches." The anxiety- the burden to make my home beautiful was too heavy for me to carry. With no funds to transform my home, what could I do? But with the Lord, it was like He walked me through the 'grainfields.' In surrendering, I found His path, not my path of saving and skimping to buy couches. For the full story read, "He Owns the Cattle on a Thousand Hills."
He answered, Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.
Remember, Jesus is talking to the Pharisees- the holy, priests of the temple. They are not the towns people who received miracles and did not repent. But rather the very men of the temple who are to lead the people to God and teach the people about who God is. Jesus has to teach them! Jesus uses the very Scriptures that they know to teach them the lesson for today. And what is the lesson? Two I think: 1) "I tell you that something greater than the temple is here."  Jesus, God come to earth, Immanuel, is greater than the temple. The Pharisees are missing the very presence of God! They are not seeing the very Messiah that they have prayed for and waited for standing right before their eyes! and 2) "I desire mercy, not sacrifice." The New Covenant is here! And it is Mercy!

9 "Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
Here the Pharisees are busted! They are looking for a reason to imprison Jesus. They ask, is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath? Wait one minute. The question is so ridiculous. They are asking as if someone can perform a miracle on the Sabbath or on any other day for that matter. They cannot perform a miracle, but they know who can- Jesus. As much as they try to deny it, they know there is something special about Jesus. 
11 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? 12 How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.
13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus. (Matthew 12:9-14) 

Jesus is remarkably gentle. I would have been so completely frustrated with these Pharisees, I would probably have walked off angry. But Jesus being God, is slow in wanting all to come to salvation. With a miracle performed before their very eyes, a miracle on the very person they chose, (not someone claiming to be blind and really wasn't) but a person with a true ailment was healed and yet they did not see Jesus. I think they are worse than the townspeople. For they know the Scriptures and still do not see God.

Pray with me:
Father, how I praise you for who you are: gentle, kind, the One who brings rest and restoration in your perfect timing. The One who brings healing out of compassion for us. The One who gives a girl new couches for her den! Father, I want to see you. I want to know you. Make me not like the Pharisees that know the Word, but do not know you. Take the blindness from my eyes. Help me to believe. Give me a deeper faith. I love you with all my heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

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