THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29

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Thursday, September 29

Behold

Matthew 9:1-17 NLT

Jesus climbed into a boat and went back across the lake to his own town. Some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Take heart, son! Your sins are forgiven.”

“Blasphemy! This man talks like he is God!” some of the teachers of religious law said among themselves.

Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why are you thinking such evil thoughts? Is it easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or ‘Get up and walk’? I will prove that I, the Son of Man, have the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, take your mat, and go on home, because you are healed!” And the man jumped up and went home!

Fear swept through the crowd as they saw this happen right before their eyes. They praised God for sending a man with such great authority.

As Jesus was going down the road, he saw Matthew sitting at his tax-collection booth. “Come, be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.

That night Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to be his dinner guests, along with his fellow tax collectors and many other notorious sinners. The Pharisees were indignant. “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” they asked his disciples.

When he heard this, Jesus replied, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to be merciful; I don’t want your sacrifices.’ For I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough.”

One day the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus and asked him, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples don’t fast?”

Jesus responded, “Should the wedding guests mourn while celebrating with the groom? Someday he will be taken from them, and then they will fast.

“And who would patch an old garment with unshrunk cloth? For the patch shrinks and pulls away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger hole than before.

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. The old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine must be stored in new wineskins. That way both the wine and the wineskins are preserved.”

Become

It is evident, this divine temper is not only to abide but to increase in us day by day. Occasions of exercising, and thereby increasing it, will never be wanting while we remain upon earth. “We have need of patience, that after we have done” and suffered “the will of God, we may receive the promise.” We have need of resignation, that we may in all circumstances say, “Not as I will, but as thou wilt.” And we have need of “gentleness toward all men;” but especially toward the evil and unthankful: Otherwise we shall be overcome of evil, instead of overcoming evil with good.

John Wesley, Sermon 22, Section 1, Point 6.

Be Perfect

You say you want a revolution. Perfection picks an army. Perfect chooses a traitor. In the eyes of Israel, Matthew the Tax Collector must have been a blow. Only a Nazi would be more despised.

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