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Lesson # Matt. 9:9-13
Study Material - Matt. 9:9-13
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
9 And as Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man, called Matthew, sitting in the tax office; and He said to him, 'Follow Me!' And he rose, and followed Him. 10 And it happened that as He was reclining at the table in the house, behold many tax-gatherers and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, 'Why is your Teacher eating with the tax-gatherers and sinners?' 12 But when He heard this, He said, 'It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. 13 'But go and learn what this means, 'I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'
Psalm 40:6-8 is brought into focus here. Sacrifice and offering is not the objective of God, but a change of ones mind into a compassionate pattern of life, is His objective.
The Pharisees display a pattern which is common among people even today. They use innuendo to cover over their insolent judgmental attitudes of others. Some folks spend more of their time judging others than checking up on the status of their own lives.
The Pharisees (as well as people like them) continually failed to see their own sins and flaws. Instead they continued in their attempt to break down others by gossip behind their backs, by the use of words of intimidation in which they seek to take advantage of others by abusing their positions of authority if for no other reason but to beat down those who would be weak (in the Pharisees eyes) and in lessor positions in society, or in an organization, or in a family. It is not uncommon to see this kind of abuse within a family environment. Often certain family members are in lessor or helpless positions and therefore sort of enslaved to others within that family.
Here Matthew (the other books call him Levi) is at his desk doing his job. Jesus passes by (not by accident) and merely states a command 'follow me.' Matthew complies immediately. This brings up a well of arrogant jealousy in the Pharisees.
First Jesus has these apparent talents of healing. Next He has a tremendous following. Next He associates with 'sinners', then He actually attends a party in His own behalf, at that sinners (the tax mans) home. To top it all off, this is a day (one of two for the week) of fasting. How can one party and fast at the same time?
Note that this weekly fasting was never authorized in the writings of Moses.
Does God want sacrifices? Does He want strict or enhanced compliance with the rituals of Moses? No. He wants us to learn the principles that these rituals teach, not the monkey see monkey do mimicking of the ritual. Going through the process means nothing. Only when wisdom is transferred into the soul of the believers, then there is a change of attitude, and transforming of the mind from thinking evil or non-God opinions, to the thinking of Gods opinions.
If Christ is successful then these Pharisees would lose their audience and therefore they would lose their positions of public attention. So too it is with those (heads of some organization) who would abuse those (those who are within that organization) who are forced to follow them. Some are trapped by family. Some are trapped by employment. Some are trapped by geography or economics. But these traps are limited by the jungle environment only.
Our escape from them is through Bible doctrine. Sure we might be subjected to abuse either physically or verbally, but there is always a means of escape and Bible doctrine is that means.
Matthew was a tax man. No miracle was performed. No healing. He had peer pressure from those who worshiped gentile gods. He had the pressure from the Jews who probably did not like him because he was a Jew but worked for 'Rome' - he was a tax man. The Pharisees obviously did not like him. So there were many social obstacles in front of Matthew. He still did not hesitate in following Christ.
To those who follow Christ and without embarrassment, all the hardships placed upon them by others, all the attempts of others to intimidate them into turning away from Christ, all the barriers they will face in life, will be removed one by one and fade away into obscurity. The believer who advances to maturity or sticks to that road of advancing to maturity, will be sooner or later, rewarded and blessed.
Those who stand in his way, those who attempt to distract or intimidate, those who abuse their positions of superiority over that advancing believer, will sooner or later see their own demise.
The Bible seeks to change your minds to that of compassion and understanding of Gods will. It does not intend for you to merely follow ritual and protocol without knowing its purpose. The Bible is not intended for those who define it in their own convenient way, but it is for those who are willing to look into it as one would a mirror and see themselves, and then change themselves (not others). God will take care of others. We need to take care of our self.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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