Matthew and his banquet

This Sunday’s sermon is on Matthew. I will be focusing on who Matthew was not specific to the feast which he gave in Matthew 9:9-10 and Luke 5:29-32. On Facebook a friend posted the following:

My devotions were just on that: dinner at Matthew’s house, and I love what the Lord showed me… I understood the whole story, Jesus was making the point that he came for the “sinners” not the righteous. But what I didn’t understand was that tiny little phrase: I desire mercy, not sacrifice (v.13). I had just been reading that the sacrifice of God is a contrite heart and a broken spirit (ps.51:17). So what did He mean by not desiring sacrifice? He was speaking to a bunch of pharisees, who were prolly up-to-date on all their ritual sacrifices, so to speak, and therefore they saw themselves as justified. And as sacrifices were believed to eradicate sin, they believed themselves sinless–which is why they turned up their nose to Jesus dining with “sinners.” So it wasn’t the sacrifice that Jesus didn’t desire, it was the attitude behind it, the self-serving rituals they performed to exalt themselves. Ok, so I got that, I began to move on, when I almost heard God say, Wait, your not done, how does that apply to you? so I kept thinking…what are the self-serving rituals in my life that make me feel justified — better than others. and I came up with ALOT! Stupid things, like taking notes in church, listening to Christian music. and big things, like my Cedarville education, my moderate lifestyle… these are all good things, like sacrifices, and I don’t plan on stopping them 🙂 but the attitude behind it — that somehow these things make me a better person, that attitude so lacking in mercy towards others — that’s gotta go. Anywho, you asked, thought I’d share… 🙂

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