Understand God in the right way
Reading: Matthew 9: 9-17
Blanks: Follow, doctor, mercy, guests, bridegroom, new wine, preserved
(3) Do you read the Bible?
Two thousand years ago, many people read the Bible.
But they applied the Bible to their lives very differently.
So they lived very differently.
Then some people were wondering who was reading the Bible in the right way.
Who was understanding God in the right way?
(3) For examples, in the time of Jesus, there were the famous religious group called the Pharisees.
Who were these Pharisees?
They studied the Bible and tried to live accordingly.
Then they applied the Bible to their lives like this:
(3) They created this kind of list.
This list says who were not welcomed in their church.
For example, tax collectors.
The Pharisees refused to accept them in their church, because tax collectors were dishonest.
So they didn’t talk with them.
They had never eaten with them and gone to their home.
They didn't do any business with them.
They didn’t even allow them to be a witness in their courts.
They were judging these people, because they didn’t want to share their sins.
They were also not interested in guiding them to God.
Instead, they were busy keeping their rules, their own religious rules.
Jesus thought that the Pharisees were applying the Bible in the wrong way.
(3) When Jesus read the Bible, he realized that all God cares about is love.
That is who God is.
(3) To share this love, he hanged out with tax collectors.
He ate with them.
(3) Fortunately, tax collectors had many friends who were sinners in town.
So Jesus met them.
Jesus loved them and became their friend.
He talked with those who were far away from God.
And Jesus was happy, because he understands God loves these people.
But then one day the Pharisees asked Jesus:
(1) “Why do you eat with sinners?”
(2) Then Jesus said: Hosea 6:6
Because God desires mercy, not sacrifice.
Jesus was saying:
(3) Let’s say that you show mercy to someone.
And let’s say that you sacrifice your life for God.
Which is better?
Which one does God value most?
(3) Showing mercy.
God is like that.
(3) So when God sees these tax collectors who might be far away from God, God wants to show mercy.
Then how much God rejoices when the former sinners finds God?
(3) Jesus told these stories to tell how much God rejoices when God is able to show God’s mercy to them.
(3) The shepherd found the lost lamb and rejoiced.
(3) The woman found the lost coin and rejoiced.
(3) The father found the lost son and rejoiced.
The joy of the shepherd, the woman, and the father is the joy that God feels when God is able to help the sinners to become God’s children.
God rejoices when the former sinners finds a new and eternal life through God. (John 10:10)
God wants to show mercy until they are found in God.
(3) Many people read the Bible differently.
So it is important to notice what kinds of people they become when they read the Bible.
(3) Jesus had a hard time because some people read the Bible in a wrong way.
And Jesus tried to help them read the Bible in the right way.
Jesus tried to help them understand God in the right way.
Because then they might be able to meet God and serve God in the right way.
Then they may be able to know how much God loves people.
Then they may be able to know how to help people.
Then they may be able to live in the right way.
(3) Then they may also eat with these people and help them understand God.
Then they may treat really well those who are far away from God.
They may treat really well everyone who don't go to church.
So it is important to understand God in the right way:
Then we may also want to see more mercy in this world.
(3) So let’s pray that God may help us to understand God.
May Jesus help us to understand God in the right way so that we may live in the right way.
Jesus, thank you for helping us understand God.
May we understand and live like you.
May you help us to help the lost find the way.
May you continually work in us so that we may be good to those who need mercy.
In Jesus name, we pray.