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Saturday, November 18, 2017

2017.11.18 Hopewell @Home ▫ Matthew 12:9-14

Questions for Littles: Where did Jesus proceed to go after the argument in the grainfields (v9)? What man did He find there in v10? What did they ask Him? Why? What did He ask them in response in v11? What does He prove is lawful in v12?  What does Jesus do in v13? How do the Pharisees respond in v14?
In the Scripture for the sermon this week, we learned that the Day of Worship is also a day on which activities that are necessary to help us worship should be done. This obviously includes eating, and can often include things like taking a nap or such exercise as is necessary to worship well in the evening service.

The point is to make choices based upon being able to worship as much as possible, as well as possible on this day. We covered that principle in vv1-8 on Monday.

Now that Jesus has gone to the synagogue, we learn that the Day of Worship is a day also especially for showing the mercy of Jesus to those who are ignored and uncared for by others. In this case, it’s the man with the withered hand.

It’s wonderful that the Pharisees were watching Jesus. It seems that they just knew He was too compassionate to pass over someone who is suffering. If His enemies recognize this about Him, then how much more should we?! How we should take comfort from the fact that our Lord can hardly bear to see us suffer for a moment! Surely, He only permits us to endure such suffering as is absolutely necessary.

And this is just the point: for someone with the heart of Christ, extending mercy is well nigh a deed of necessity. And that’s how He wants us to be. It’s exactly what He was saying in the grainfield in v7: He desires mercy and not sacrifice.

How unmerciful are the Pharisees? By v14 their idea of Sabbath keeping is to plot how they might destroy Jesus!

So, if the Lord’s Day is a day for mercy, the onus is upon us to discover who around us have the greatest need, and particularly the greatest need of the gospel—and then to seek to minister to that need, gladly using time on the Lord’s Day for that, if being freed from other duties on that day makes it the best day for us to be able to.
Who are some needy—and especially spiritually needy—folks that are often being ignored in our area? What can we do for them? If time is a limiting factor, on what day can we do it?

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