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03 Blessed are Those Who Hunger for Righteousness and the Merciful

Conrad Vine
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Conrad Vine

President of Adventist Frontier Missions



  • June 17, 2020
    9:45 AM
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Where lights give you all a warm welcome as today we continue our journey through these beautiful teachings of Jesus known throughout history as the Beatitudes on Monday we took an overview of the Beatitudes in Luke and Matthew and we're focusing this week on the Beatitudes as found in Matthew chapter 5 as oh so far we've gone through the 1st 3 Beatitudes blessid are the poor in spirit for there's the Kingdom of Heaven bless and all those who mourn for they shall be comforted and blessed and all the me for they shall inherit the earth they are simple words with profound meanings and that's a day we're going to journey through the next 2 beatitudes that are found here Matthew chapter 5 we're going to be looking at verse 6 Blessed and all those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they will be filled and then will be looking at the final one for today blessid are the merciful for they will receive mercy and invite you to bow your heads with me when you hear in our audience or an audience online in your homes as we invite the presence of God to bless this study together by having the father I think you that we can indeed hear these words of Jesus echoing down through the centuries Father I thank you that in whatever nation tribal languages are people we count ourselves no matter what portion of the globe we happen to be living in today I think you that these teachings of Jesus apply to us no matter where we are as much as to anybody else I thank you Father that Jesus speaks to each of our hearts and he guides us in the path of righteousness and so a lot as we listen to this meditations morning on the beatitudes of Jesus may your spirit indeed guide the way that we should live our lives father transform the thinking in our minds soften our hearts that we may hear your spirit speak to each one of us and fathers we finished this seminar this morning I pray that we will be different people to those who sat down to listen in the beginning I pray that as I speak father they will be more of you and less of me in my heart and in the hearts of the Harris in Jesus name I ask the man. And so this the attitude here of Jesus blessid are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled and this is a spiritual concept but it is rooted in deep physical realities in the developed world sustained hunger is almost nonexistent Yes we have hungry people here in America a large proportion of children here in America go to bed hungry and they may suffer from malnutrition and but as a general rule if we find sustained hunger mostly in the 1040 mission window or in the developing parts of the world today most of us today are satisfied with our food intake and for many people living in the West hunger indeed is a rare sensation but in the developing world and at the time of Jesus hunger and thirst for daily realities and just as satisfying our hunger and our 1st is an all consuming daily concern so our hunger and thirst in after righteousness is by implication to be an all consuming and a daily concern we are concerned about our daily food and likewise we ought to be concerned about getting filled with the writers of God. And so here in this beatitude it is important to notice that Jesus did not say bless it all those who maintain a right his lifestyle but he in firms the dynamic ongoing nature of the search for rights as ness those who are blessed of God are not those who have arrived at a certain state like a crystal like I can like a chandelier or beautiful piece of cut glass crystal No the kingdom of God is represented as those who are seeking for greater righteousness I'm just telling your Bibles to Matthew chapter 13 and it's you always important and helpful to translate scripture from Scripture to use one scripture to shed light on another scripture and Matthew chapter 13 and verse 45 Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a merchant he says the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of find polls. The kingdom of heaven here is not the pole it is the merchant in the process of seeking for the po what Jesus is teaching us is that we are blessed by God even as we hunger and thirst every day for more righteousness in our lives we're not going to claim that we've arrived but in the process of seeking right just in us we experience God's blessings if you ever go on a journey you'll know that as you're preparing to maybe go to the airport you put aside all your daily concerns and you pack your bags and you're focused on the journey itself are we not and you lay aside the hobbies and the projects and all the other things that clutter our daily lives and when you go on a journey your focus is the journey you want to reach that destination and you set aside everything that would hinder you from making that journey and so it is when Jesus has Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness he is teaching us that it is in striving for right justice it is the process of striving that God brings a blessing into our lives but what is this right isness that Jesus is talking about in the Greek the word is to chaos today what does it mean that is right isness that's a hunger and thirst after righteousness here in Matthew 5 well the word rightness nurse even though we use it very commonly enough theological discussions the word righteousness does not appear in the Gospel of Mark it only appears once in the Gospel of Luke but it appears 7 times throughout the Gospel of Matthew Matthew recalled teachings of Jesus 7 times that have to deal with righteousness and I think the Hebrew word for righteousness which is said that cause I'm the Greek was to Cairo soon a half packed with meaning but the underlying idea of the word right isness is not a standard of lifestyle it is not that you do not do this and you do do this to the contrary are the words of the idea behind righteousness is there is an underlying relationship. And every underlying relationship makes claims on your visible behavior I hope that makes sense or anybody if you love somebody that determines how you treat them if you are in a relationship with them and you say I love you then that person has the right to make certain claims on how you interact with them how you speak with them how you on of them will treat them in public and so right just in us is the concept that we are in a relationship with our Heavenly Father and because we are in a relationship with our Heavenly Father that relationship has claims on how we live our lives how we relate to each other how we relate to a heavenly Father how we relate to those closest to us I just want to explore for a few minutes some of these concepts of righteousness that we find in the scriptures that's having your Bibles back to a Micah Chapter 6 verses 3 through 5. And you know his age ole most over diet Jonah Micah there we are Micah chapter 6 and Micah Chapter 6 very famous passage we have one concept of righteousness here that Jesus does touch upon these gospels and I'm going to Reading from Micah chapter 6 and verse 6 and this is what it says with what shall I come before the Lord and bow myself before God on high Shall I come before him with burnt offerings and cobs a year old will the Lord be pleased with a 1000 Rams and with $10000.00 rivers of oil shall I give my firstborn for my transgression the fruits of my body for the sin of my soul in this passage here my car is asking the rhetorical question What is it so God asks of each of us and just before that in verse 5 God reminds his people that his right just in us is manifest to his people in his saving acts if you look there in verse 5 that the the last sentence says it says that you may know the saving acts of the Lord literally the right as nurse in the Hebrew of the Lord here we see that right just missed refers to God's acts in history to save his people and so to hunger and thirst after righteousness means that you're actually hungering and thirsting after God's salvific work within your own life means you're looking for God to do a work of salvation today in my life just as I hunger for food every day so I'm hunger for God to work a deep work of salvation in my own life on a daily basis Another concept of righteousness to be find again in the Old Testament that find echoes in this be asked to does in Isaiah 54 verses 10 going to turn on your Bibles with me I desire Chapter 54 and we have there a beautiful description of God's righteousness and if I may find it in my my passage here as I Chapter 54 beginning at verse 10 it says there. For the mountains made a pot on the hills be removed but my steadfast love shall not depart from you my covenant of peace shall not be removed saith the Lord who has compassion upon you here we read about God has said his covenant faithfulness to his children he talks about his covenant of peace that God enters into a relationship of peace and blessing with his people he goes on in verse 14 in right just ness you shall be established you shall be far from oppression for you shall not be afraid and from terror for it shall not come near you then the conclusion is no West no in verse 17 no weapon that is fashioned against you shall prosper and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and my version says and there vindication from me say it a lot but Hebrew there is to that because it is and they're right just as for me saying The Lord says the Lord so this means that in this beatitude Jesus when he talks about those who who yearn and hunger and thirst after righteousness he's talking about those who are longing for a renewed and a renewing relationship with The Heavenly Father that God may demonstrate his salvation in their lives that God's righteousness may be manifest in their lives that we may experience a covenant of peace with our Heavenly Father that we may experience has said or this covenant faithfulness the love that will not let me go within our relationship that I have in the Father so the point about justice and righteousness that we find in the Scriptures is that whereas we tend to separate out rights as innocent justice in the Old Testament and in the New Testament find that justice and righteousness are very much overlapping concepts we separated out but it's hard to separate it out in the Scripture a righteous innocent just as Do not consistent giving every man his Jew but in the Scriptures include showing mercy and compassion to the outcast so. Oppressed to the weak to the widow to the often joke describes as very nicely in joke 29 verses 14 through 16 to turn just a few pages back to Isaiah 42 and you have a definition of justice that that we will talk again at the end of the seminar here today Isiah Chapter $42.00 and verse 3 it's a passage talking about the servant of God It is a messianic passage about our Savior Jesus Christ and it says that in verse 2 he will not cry or lift up his voice or make it heard in the street a bruised reed he will not break and it dimly burning wick he will not quench he will faithfully bring forth justice and so righteousness and justice which are overlapping concepts in the Old Testament they do not involve responding with an eye for an eye and a tooth for tooth when somebody has hurt us rather we respond to those who hurt us with compassion acts of mercy because we recognize that they also are broken and exhausted by the burden of sin. And finally right just in this is connected to peace turned back a few pages again to Isaiah 32 and we see that in verses 17 through 20 that the effect of righteousness within a community that when there is a righteous individual within a community within the home within a subdivision within a district there is a wider impact right Isiah $32.00 in verse 17 says the effect of righteousness will be peace and the results of righteousness will be quietness and trust forever then verse 20 says happy will you be who so beside every stream who let the ox on the donkey range freely that is when God's righteousness is manifest and lived out within a community even the natural world experiences that blessing that the ox and the donkey can range freely they have no fear of harm coming their way and so right as in this creates to say a halo effect around it it doesn't just affect my relationship with God It also effects the natural world around me it affects the animal kingdom around me and it affects all of my human relationship and so Jesus has blessed it all those who hunger and thirst for this righteousness who yearn for it on a daily basis as much as they yearn for their daily food what are the implications of this beatitude will turn back to Matthew chapter 5 and Matthew he starts out with the some amount with his beatitudes and then much of the rest of the Beatitudes isn't of this of them some amount is a discussion of what does this mean in practice and so if you just take a look at Matthew chapter 5 where Jesus discusses through this chapter what it means to live and to express this new form of righteousness within our daily lives so for instance Matthew 521 through 26 discusses I'm God and Jesus is teaching us a new way of dealing with those from whom we are alienated he's teaching the principles of peacemaking and reconciliation. It will come more to lot when we discuss when we cover that beatitude blessid all the peacemakers for they shall be called the Children of God when he talks in Matthew $27.00 Matthew $527.00 through 30 which is talking about adultery and Jesus is discussing a new way of relating sexually to others that is in a non-exploitative and a non-manipulative mana and then Jesus discusses in verse 31 and 32 he discusses divorce which was a big problem among the Jews of his time and what does righteousness mean when we come to the question of divorce when Jesus talks about a new way of honoring women that is we're not seeking to exploit women or to abuse them and when it comes to verse 33 through 37 Jesus gives us another example of what it means to live this righteousness he gives us a new coat a new code of honor that is you live by your word itself and then coming down to verses 38 and 42 concerning retaliation you know somebody strikes you on the cheek Jesus says will turn the other cheek Jesus gives us a new way of dealing with abuse and evil doing that is disarmament through through a peaceful response this is righteousness in action and then in verses via verse or 43 through 47 the end of this chapter where you heard it said that you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy but I say unto you Jesus gives us a new way of living this righteousness by teaching us that we should treat all people as members of our own family we should not be dividing people up into friends and enemies but we are cold as we live this righteousness that we hunger for daily we are called to treat people as members of our own family and therefore we wish the very best for them. This beatitude concludes Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled this is important point because God is the one who's going to satisfy this yearning for righteousness and for many people today this is a strange concept because if we believe that righteousness is adherence to a lifestyle or a series of lifestyle expectations or an ethical standard then what we ultimately seeking is the approval of the community around us but when Jesus says they shall be filled dramatically this is known as a divine passive Jesus saying it is God who satisfies your hungry after writers in us it is not the approval of the community that you are seeking for and therefore if we seek daily we hunger and thirst after righteousness that the approval of our local congregation is of secondary importance to us to seeking the approval of our heavenly Father we're not concerned so much about what the gossips might say or the criticism that might come our way we're not so worried when people say oh he's slightly crazy he's taken his faith to a new extreme we're seeking 1st and foremost to express our delight in our relationship with God on a daily basis and we're seeking God's approval we're not seeking the approval of men or women if righteousness describes a relationship that is grounds as a gift from God that brings peace than only God can satisfy that longing for right just miss on the approval or disapproval of our local community is of secondary concern only we are not right just to please our peers but we are right just to show gratitude to God and to maintain our relationship with him so there are some questions that to come out of this beatitude I just want to invite you to ponder these questions you see them on the screen here before you what does right just in us mean to mean. How does the Adventist lifestyle among other things fit into Jesus' understanding of righteousness does it do we seek to leave of absence his lifestyle because we want the applause of those around us were always seeking to receive God's blessing and receive the approval of God and seek and so on and God in all the decisions we make on a daily basis am I already satisfied with God have I had my fill you might say a mile a decision Laodicean or am I still hungry enough to God today am I still yearning to grow in my experience have I reached a point in my spiritual walk where I think I've come this far and I don't need to go any further I have enough head knowledge I live a suitable lifestyle that's good enough for me well in this case this beatitude speaks to to us in this situation because just as we look to look for food and drink on a daily basis Jesus is inviting us no matter where we are in our walk with Him matter how long we've been walking in the light no matter what our backgrounds may be whether an ordained pastor or elder a Sabbath school teacher or whatever we may do for a professor in the university Jesus is inviting us to daily seek a deeper and imo life giving relationship with Him So is there a promise or an invitation from God for us today in this beatitude is Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts today as you watch online from your homes what is the Holy Spirit saying to you Are you seeking God's approval or are you seeking the approval of man if you are happy with the approval of men and women I really concerned about what God thinks and so I want to challenge us today to to hunger and thirst after righteousness on a daily basis to seek a more I more wholesome expression of our relationship with our Father in all that we make that we might bring joy to him and that there might be rejoicing in heaven above which brings us to the next of these the attitudes. The necks of these Beatitudes is found in verse 7 blessid other merciful for they will receive mercy and is a paradox of human nature that we tend to seek justice for those who've offended us but mercy from those whom we have offended ourselves we want justice to be applied to somebody that hurt me but when it comes to me than I don't want justice to be applied to me I want you to receive mercy and this is a paradox of human nature doesn't matter what part of the world you live in it seems that people want justice for those who hurt them and they want mercy when they've hurt somebody themselves and yet when we look in the scriptures the Hebrew all Testament and in the Septuagint that is the Greek translation of the Old Testament we find that the the concepts of justice and mercy are closely related just as we've just been discussing that justice and righteousness are also closely related within the Old Testament. And so but it's interesting that the word for merciful only appears once in the Gospels and it's here in Matthew 5 and verse 7 we may major in mercy and that is a good thing but the only time the word for mercy or merciful apply appears in all 4 gospels is here in Matthew 5 and verse 7 bless it other merciful for they will receive mercy so what was Jesus talking about while the Pharisees operated under retribution of concept of justice which often hurt individuals it means you hurt me I'll hurt you back and eye for an eye and a tooth for tooth and the point about an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth was not so I hurt you when you hurt me back is because if you hurt me not only do I want to hurt you back but I want to give that little bit extra just to teach you a lesson and so the whole point about a knife or 9 a tooth for tooth is not that you know you hit me I can hit you back is actually restraining the human desire for vindictiveness and revenge and just to give you that little bit extra when I hurt your back and so for an eye for an eye and a tooth for tooth is actually God restraining our human desire to hurt one another but in the time of Jesus in the 2nd Temple Judaism and eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth have become merged with the idea that you hurt me I'm going to hurt you twice as hard back for Jesus argues in this Gospel here that mercy fulfills the demands of justice turn just a few pages to Matthew 9 and verse 13 and this is the only passage of the new to of the Old Testament Jesus quotes more than once he quote it again in Matthew 12 in verse 7 but this is what Jesus says it says Matthew 19 verse 12 those who are well have no need of a physician but those who are sick go and learn what this means I desire mercy not sacrifice for I have come to call not the right choice but since. And so Jesus in the words of Jesus mercy becomes a liver for our liberating and dignifying force mercy and justice are not to hurt severe not that so hurt those who cause pain but in the kingdom of God mercy isn't the agent by which God restores the dignity of human beings when there is a conflict now Leviticus 191 through to God called his people to be holy and this is what it says says a lot spoke to Moses saying speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them you shall be holy for I the Lord your God I am holy and in a sincere effort to be faithful to this command from God to be holy among the people of God The leaders of Israel have developed over the centuries in the oral torah a very detailed list of the physical requirements for that Holiness what did it mean to be holy and by the time of Jesus and 2nd temple Judaism Holiness was equated with purity and purity was equated with ritual cleanliness or in cleanliness and cleaning this was it was associated with the notion that some people ritually clean and some people are ritually unclean and so many of the disputes that Jesus has with the Pharisees such as Mark 7 when they ask his disciples Why do you not wash your hands before you eat these are questions of ritual cleanliness but the good news of Jesus is that holiness the coal to holiness is not associated the teachings of Jesus with cleanliness or unkindness in the teachings in the life and ministry of Jesus the concept of holiness is equated with mercy in the Gospel the politics of purity are replaced by the politics of compassion and this is what led to constant conflict with the religious authorities we see in the ministry of Jesus that being merciful involves responding to real human needs with compassion in action. But there is a paradox here and that we need to explore this for a minute because being merciful and showing mercy is a paradox for modern believers and why do I say that well firstly do we forgive others as God forgives us the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6 1st 9 through 13 says this forgive us our sins as we forgive those that sin against us and it sounds here as if the 2 forms of forgiveness me for giving you and God for giving me that these 2 forms of forgiveness are actually parallel to each other. But if you turn over to the Lord's Prayer in Luke 11 something else is said there Luke leaven verse 4 maybe turn your Bibles that we see that Jesus says something slightly different in Luke Chapter 11 and verse 4 we read. It says And forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us the implication here is do we forgive others in order that God will then forgive us is slightly different what Matthew says where we forgive others as God forgives us in Luke's Gospel we forgive others in order that God will then forgive us and so we must forgive others in order to receive God's forgiveness but there is another there is another picture of forgiveness back in Matthew's Gospel we turn to Matthew Chapter 18 is a parable of the servant who is forgiven an incredible sum of money by the master This is a power on Matthew Chapter 18 a very famous sermon of Jesus and Jesus is talking about forgiveness and and the settling of debts within the community of faith and in this passage here the parable of the unforgiving servant It tells of a servant who was forgiven a huge debt by his master only to subsequently refused to forgive a paltry debt owed him by a fellow servant and for this failure he was condemned by his master and the lesson in Matthew 18 relating to mercy and forgiveness the question is does God forgive us 1st and then we are able to forgive others because we've experienced God's forgiveness we now know what mercy tastes like we can impart it on to somebody else as a practical illustration if you had to describe to somebody what does ice cream taste like who's never tasted ice cream How would you describe the taste of icecream. It's very hard to do if you never tasted ice cream is hard to describe you might say well imagine imagine that you have a he takes a Margery in and you put and you put use food into the Marjorie in the sprinkle bit of sugar on it and you put it in your mouth maybe that's the closest you can get to to explaining what ice cream tastes like and the point here is that unless you have experienced God's grace and forgiveness yourself is very hard to pass it on to somebody else but when you know what forgiveness is you can pass out forgiveness on around the world is one of the reasons why the saints of God can look forward in Daniel Chapter 7 to a shared Dominion with Jesus Christ for all eternity throughout the universe why does God trust the saints the the saints who make it through to the final conflict and they make it through to heaven why does God trust the saints of God with eternal dominion of the universe is shared to many with Jesus Christ because the rest of the universe may have seen sin that we have experienced sin and the rest of the universe may know that there's no such thing as forgiveness that we have experienced God's forgiveness therefore we can faithfully represent his character so the universe for the rest of eternity and so we have 3 patterns of forgiveness that Jesus talks about oh mercy within the Gospels here firstly do we forgive others as God forgives us secondly do we forgive others in order that God forgives us and thirdly does God forgive us in order that we now know what forgiveness is and we can offer mercy to those around us which of these 3 patterns of forgiveness best captures what Jesus is talking about in this beatitude blessed it all the merciful for they shall receive mercy it's actually very hard to say that Jesus is talking about one part in the forgiveness and not another pats on the forgiveness maybe the reality is that in the complexity of our human lives in the brokenness of our lives or the pains in the aches the hurtful words and the painful memories. All 3 understandings of forgiveness come into play in different times of our lives to show mercy or to forgive truly is difficult but the alternative to showing mercy is physical and spiritual self destruction through the nursing of grudges or the seeking of revenge such grievances are often passed from generation to generation and they become a destructive force in the lives of individuals and in the wider society such as in vendettas the gospel teaches here Jesus' teaching in this beatitude lesson all the most of all that the blessid escape these crippling cycles of vengeance and business and revenge precisely because they are most awful but they break the cycle of hurt of hurtful actions and they choose to forgive an instant in choosing to forgive they are blessed because they escape for generations to come those cycles of vendettas and the seeking of revenge So what are the implications of this particular beatitude will firstly Jesus modeled mercy so the social outsiders of his day and the Gospel of Matthew Jesus ministered to tax collectors and sinners in Matthew Chapter 9 Matthew and prostitutes in Matthew's Gospel of Matthew Chapter 15 Jesus ministered to a Connecticut Canaanite woman woman from the same part of the world is just about in the story of I have an Alija in Matthew Chapter 8 Jesus ministered to lepers who were literally social outcasts in Matthew 26 verses one through 6 through 13 Jesus has an emphasis on ministry to women in Matthew Chapter 9 Jesus ministers to those with dread diseases and even to the dead are the beneficiaries of his ministry mercy for Jesus was not an abstract concept but it involved a personal reaching out to those who were excluded from the visible on the respectable community of faith in his time and he sought to draw them into the kingdom of God. Secondly like the Pharisees of old Many modern day disciples are adept at drawing circles to define Kingdom insiders and once you've defined who a kingdom insider is by implication you've defined who the kingdom outside is are many disciples today we tend to have these definitions of modern day or contemporary Canaanites and many modern day disciples they seek to avoid all contact with outsiders to avoid some kind of spiritual contamination yet how those outsiders can see Wall me invited and lead into the kingdom of God If the kingdom insiders are so focused on their own standards of purity and their own lifestyle that they actually want to avoid those on the outside and so the previous teaching of Jesus blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness comes into play here does it not if we focused on maintaining a lifestyle and not contact and come into contact with people who don't have that lifestyle then we were barking up the wrong tree right just as in action is very similar to Mercy in action and is involves adopting the mission of Jesus which was to seek and to save that which is lost. Yet the dynamic of mercy as we see in the teachings of Jesus is an absolute necessity for those who dwell within the kingdom of God mercy in the teachings of Jesus and is non-negotiable yet it is often tries and less among believers today than holding to absolute and often very arbitrary lifestyle standards or standards of righteousness as we understand them today and yet in the teachings of Jesus in this beatitude a refusal to show mercy or fusil to work to show mercy to others actually excludes disciples from the kingdom of God look at Matthew chapter 6 in the Sermon on the Mount there in verse 14 and 15 Jesus says for if you forgive others that trespass is your heavenly Father will also forgive you but if you do not forgive others neither will your father forgive your trespassers this is a stark warning from Jesus that mercy is a non-negotiable component of what it means to live in the kingdom of God Today we want to receive mercy from God And so we are called by God to show mercy to those around us God's people are therefore to be known as people of mercy for we asked reflect the image of God who said to Moses in the extra $34.00 that the Lord is merciful and gracious it is his very character and finally offering forgiveness and mercy preempts the need for future forgiveness because we break the cycles of vengeance seeking when we forgive from our hearts we recognize the various forms of human and personal and institutional helplessness and deprivation and we allow ourselves be moved by the same compassion that moved Jesus this compassion in the Christian community is to be tangible we talk about it becoming free of debt and when we talk about being free of debt we talk about financial freedom but Jesus primarily concerned about freedom from emotional and spiritual debts for some individuals as forgiveness involves reconciliation between groups Jesus is teaching us about conflict resolution between. Patients Jesus is calling maybe for the forgiveness of financial debts that prevent other nations and generations from being freed from the burdens of the past whatever the debt forgiveness may be Matthew's house churches were to be a living witness to the transforming power of the Gospel Jesus wants us to live debt free and he's not talking about financial debt so much he's talking about having no spiritual debts among ourselves we actively seek to clear the balance so to clean close those accounts on a daily basis that we do not maintain anger and bitterness and rage but we work for reconciliation and we work we ourselves show mercy as we're going to explore the next 2 days lesson on the peacemakers which is a beautiful beatitude peacemaking in the mind of Jesus involves sacrificing myself in order to the wider community can be blessed will come to that later you know study on these Beatitudes I want to close this morning we have a few minutes left with an example and I like giving practical illustrations so. I'm I'm hoping I don't burn the church down here today about my morning walk this morning I collected a read and I've lost that read so or so my car so I don't have it here there is one individual in the Gospel of Matthew who exemplifies what it means to be a right as in a merciful individual other than Jesus and that is Joseph. Joseph it says in Matthew Chapter one Joseph was a right just individual and why was Joseph a rights individual well that the Gospel tells us that when Joseph discovered that Mary was pregnant out of wedlock it as being a right just man he was minded to put her away quietly now in that in those days there were 2 kinds of divorce the conservatives insisted you could only divorce for grounds of sexual immorality and that involved condemning the guilty party the no fault divorce was way a man could divorce his wife literally burning the proverbial toast I mean you can have no reason you could say I divorce you and that was it the wife was divorced but if you wanted it or not and Joseph when he discovered that Mary was pregnant he could have opted for the faults of the at fault divorce the conservative option for divorce which was you have committed sexual immorality you are now pregnant outside of childbirth my reputation has been harmed and if I don't sue you for divorce from the grounds immorality everybody's going to assume that I'm the father and the I've been guilty of immorality as well and Joseph rather than taking that option and putting all the blame on Mary he chose to put her away quietly that is a no fault divorce that is no see see no evil hear no evil speak no evil we're just quietly going to separate and I'm not going to shame Mary in public he chose to set to separate quietly and to bed for the rest of his life the shame and the the scandal and the whispering in the gossip that where did Mary get pregnant who's the father of her child but he chose to put her away quietly in the Gospel calls him a right just individual military is it because we get the word righteousness from that to Cairo Sunni which is what Jesus talks about in His Beatitude of Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness Well the math Anik concepts of justice as we've already seen in Isaiah Chapter 42 it says that they will not quench or throw away a burning wick. Well I have here this is a 2nd century oil lamp. It's from a time of Christian persecution Now the reason we know this is from a time of Christian persecution is from Palestine's made of terra cotta is that on the top we have these little it looks like flowers have been imprinted in this in this item here but on the there's a wig sticking out here but you know it's a Christian lamp because underneath it as a cross carved into the base and Christians would often carve a cross into the bottom of that lamp stand as a signal as a symbol that they are actually loyal to Jesus and they are the light of the world and so you know it's a Christian lamp stand because as a cross on the bottom it's on the bottom because there was persecution of Christians and they would put all of oil into this then they put a wake but a flax or piece of cotton or bit of wall in there and the wick would soak up. The wick would soak up the oil and it would burn so I have small of oil here and I'm not going to burn in my 2nd century going to burn in my 2nd century lamps than that too precious for that but I have a wake I'm going to soak it in the oil here and then I'm going to burn it there you have your lamp the lamp stands and it's burning through the wake and when the lamp the light goes out what you're left with is something of no value this really has no value the only thing that is that this is fit for is to be thrown out and I was the point of messianic justice you see When Joseph saw Mary he lived out messianic justices says that Messianic justice means he will not he will not break throw out a broken reed you will throw out a burnt wick even something as useless and as broken as a burnt Wick that the Messiah will not harm. Joseph could have chosen to throw Mary out of his house and to get rid of the scandal but rather than getting rid of her and maintaining his own risk social standing he chose to take her into his house as his wife he showed her mercy he saw her yes broken the subject of community scandal as a young teenage girl uncertain of her future with a child by the Holy Spirit not known how she would provide for that child when it was born he chose to see her as a burnt Wick or as a broken reed and he took her into his home and he stood by her he was a righteous individual and in so doing the Messiah came literally into his own home had Joseph chosen to get rid of Mary the Messiah would not have entered his home and the man who spent more time with the Messiah while he was on earth was Joseph precisely because he was merciful to Mary in her hour of desperate need Jesus said and he's knows this from his own family experience bless it all the merciful for they shall be filled Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled Jesus knew from his own life that when we show mercy to those in their brokenness when we hunger and thirst after righteousness we actually make it possible for the Messiah Twenge our own homes Twenge our own marriages and went our own lives my challenge for us is for all of you here today watching at home online or in our congregation today is there somebody in your life that you need to show most of mercy to today how do you relate the dynamics of forgiveness that we've been reading about in these beauties beatitude of Jesus as a modern day Canaanites in your life is God calling you to to recalibrate thinking so they're no longer Canaanites but potential brothers and sisters. And is our promise or an invitation for you in these to be attitudes today Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled Blessed are the most full for they shall receive mercy Joseph did both on the messiah entered his home and he experienced the blessing of Jesus for the rest of his life may not be our experience as we live these Beatitudes today in the name of Jesus I pray for this role in. This media was brought to you by audio person a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermon or leave it there w.w.w. dot audio Verse dot org.


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