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Matthew 20

October 5, 2009 Leave a comment

choke holdMatthew 20

Have you ever been in need? Have you ever required mercy? Maybe you’ve wrestled with your dad or a sibling, and they put you in a hold you couldn’t get out of. They wouldn’t let you out till you cried “uncle” or “mercy.”

That’s not what I’m talking about, however. As Americans, most of us don’t really know what it is to be in need. Even if our families struggle financially, most of us are still wealthy when compared to the rest of the world. Chances are you didn’t worry whether you would eat today. You have probably never feared being thrown in prison and tortured. Most of us have never come within inches of death.

We don’t understand mercy.

Yet all of us are in need of it. All of us have sinned (Romans 3.23), and therefore, we all deserve eternal death (Romans 6.23). We are all in need of Jesus’ mercy to save us.

The two blind men knew what it was to be in need. Since they couldn’t see, they couldn’t work. Since they couldn’t work, they couldn’t make money to buy food, clothes, shelter, etc. Anyone could easily take advantage of them. They were vulnerable. They lived in fear.

They cried out to Jesus for mercy. Jesus had compassion on them and gave them their sight.

Perhaps, we are the ones who are actually blind. We don’t see that we are in need of mercy. We don’t see that we are lost without Jesus. Until we do, can we really experience Christ’s mercy?

Realize that you are in need. You will experience eternal death without Jesus. But he died so you could live. If you cry out to him and are united with him (Romans 6.3-7), he will rescue you.

 

Prayer for Today

Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me. Amen.

 

“Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy.” Psalm 86.6

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Matthew 3

September 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Matthew 3Jesus Baptism

John is out in the wilderness baptizing people who wanted to repent of their sins. Then here comes the Son of God asking to be baptized. Just as I would be, John was confused. He asked Jesus why he needed to be baptized. Jesus simply responds “It is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”

Did Jesus need to repent? No, he had no sin (1 John 3.5). But he did it. It was part of his Father’s plan. And when he came out of the water, something very special happened. The Holy Spirit came upon him, and the voice of God spoke: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

What is really cool is that Christians get to participate in this very same thing. When a person is baptized, he or she unites with Jesus in this very special event. We participate in this same ceremony, but we also unite with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6.3-4).

And I imagine God saying the same thing when we are baptized. I imagine as a person comes up out of the water, the Holy Spirit comes down and God says, “This is my child who pleases me.” How awesome is that? God is pleased with you! And it doesn’t stop when that “first sin” happens. No, God is pleased with you because you are his child.

You can’t be perfect. If you could, Jesus would not have had to die for your sins. God wants you to not sin, but he doesn’t stop loving you when you do. You are still his child, and you bring him great pleasure! God loved you enough to give his Son to die for you (John 3.16). There is no greater love than that. Today, reflect on God’s amazing love and the union you have with Christ.

 

Prayer for Today

Father, thank you for making me your child. I do not understand your incredible love for me, but it is amazing to know you love me enough to give your Son to die for my sins. Thank you for that sacrifice. Help me to never forget that. And help me never to forget that I am your child. Amen.

 

“If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.” Romans 6.5