Matthew 9:1-17

Matthew 9:1-17

We need to step into where God is, rather than making God come to us. We put demands on God and everybody else. It's not what God is about. Jesus came because He loves sinners, and I'm glad He loves sinners because I was one of them.You know what? As much as there are things that I would like to do in my life, I really want to be in God’s will. I want to be where God wants me to be. I want to be trusting Jesus, even though there are lots of things where I would rather be…

Do you know that God loves you? That God desires for you to understand His forgiveness for you? The thing that has kept you out of fellowship from God your whole life? You look into this world and you see people who are lost. You look into their face and you can see that they’re lost. And why are they lost? Because sin, issues of sin in their life, have kept them away from understanding or pursuing God. It’s not that many of them don’t believe in God. I hear some people say, “I don’t believe in God,” but when it comes right down to it, and they’re facing the person with a gun in their face, they’re saying, “God, help me!” It’s amazing how quickly people come to believe in God. But really, what it is, people believe in God, they just don’t believe that God is attainable, because they’re sinners, and they know that they’re sinners, and they know that that sin keeps them separated from God. But you know what? I like my sin. I enjoy my sin. Sin has been part of my my whole life. You know what? If I could actually be forgiven for my sin, if I knew that Someone cared enough to forgive me of my sin, I might consider dealing with it. Walking away from it. Hanging it up…

Forgiveness is one of these things that, in our flesh, we have a very hard time understanding… But yet, God desires for you to forgive! I don’t care who it is, I don’t care what they’ve done, and I don’t care where they’re choosing to go. If you, in your life know people that you are refusing to forgive, or if you’re angry at others for having forgiven someone of something you weren’t ready to forgive, Jesus here says, that is evil. So what are you in need of? Doesn’t that mean, then, that you, that I, have need of forgiveness ourself?…

We’ve got a lot to learn when we begin to look down on people, when we begin to judge people because of their issues of sin, or if we judge those that are trying to help them. Again, it’s evil when we separate ourself from what God is trying to do on this earth, and what God is trying to do is deliver mercy to people, not another requirement of the law. And those requirements of the law should have brought them to the place of understanding that they needed mercy all the more. It says, “For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Who does that entail? How many on the face of the earth were righteous? The Pharisees thought they were. They thought they had the answers… And once again, the issue was the sin that needed to be dealt with…

One of the things that our traditions teach us, and that we fall prey to, that we entrap ourselves in, is when we begin to believe somehow we’re good, and they’re bad. We’re deserving, and they’re not. We’re clean, they’re unclean. It’s a trap, because guess what? Each and every one of us used to live “out there.” And just because we came in here did not make us different. It just made us fulfilled. And you know what? When I’ve had a good meal, I want everybody else to feel just as full as I am. That’s the way we should be thinking, “I’m full. I want them to be full, too…”

Jesus desires mercy. Mercy without condition. Mercy without sacrifice. Mercy that interacts with sinners. Mercy that looks into the heart of a man who is laid on a mat and is paralyzed because of his sin. Mercy that says, “Your sin is forgiven.”

We need to step into where God is, rather than making God come to us. We put demands on God and everybody else. It’s not what God is about. Jesus came because He loves sinners, and I’m glad He loves sinners because I was one of them. I wouldn’t be here today if God only came for those who were good because He would have never found.

Pastor Dave Elkins