By Alice Northcutt
Today's Scripture: Matthew 12: 6-8
Central Thought: Although greatness is found in many people, things, and places, God's only son, Jesus Christ, exceeds the greatness of all others and all else.
As we reflect on the temple and its grandeur and majesty, we are reminded that the temple was the center of worship for God's people. Not only was it built according to specific instructions from God, but it also carried a great religious significance. It was the center of the Law and priesthood, and it held special significance for sacrifices and Sabbath observances.
As Jesus spoke to the religious leaders, He reminded them that the Messiah they were looking for represented something greater than the temple, greater than the Law, greater than the Sabbath, and even greater than the sacrifices they offered. Jesus, the Messiah, represented mercy rather than sacrifice. Yes, Jesus came as a sacrifice for the sins of all mankind, but the mercy He came to offer extended (and continues to extend) to all who will accept His greatest sacrifice—mercy.
That Jesus was willing to offer His life as a sacrifice for sins is amazing; but even more amazing is His willingness to extend mercy to all who have sinned, no matter how great the sin or how small the sin in the eyes of man or culture. Jesus has extended His mercy, but it is up to each individual to accept that mercy by acknowledging Jesus as Lord and accepting His mercy through repentance and commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
May we all be willing to accept mercy—something greater. And may we then be willing to share that gift with others, even those who have wronged us.
Devotional Prayer: Lord, help me to recognize the greatness of the mercy You continue to extend. May I be as willing to extend mercy to others as I am to accept it from You.
Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 35:1-36:43; Matthew 12:1-21; Psalm 15:1-5; Proverbs 3:21-26