July 19 I Sunday
“Come, let us return to the LORD; for He has torn us, that He may heal us;...Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD” —Hosea 6:1, 3, ESV
When the Pharisees saw Jesus eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners, they asked His disciples, “Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are ill. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:16-17). Isn’t this good news?
It is good news if we acknowledge that there is something wrong with us. We seek out a doctor when we know we are sick. We will seek out Jesus when we know we have a disease that the Scripture calls sin because He is the Good Physician that can heal us from our disease. He is the One that can remove the disease from our life, impart His righteousness and we become a new creation. Pauline Phillips once said, “The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.” Matthew experienced this and he wanted all his friends, co-workers and family, to experience this same reality.
In Matthew 9:13, Jesus tells the Pharisees, “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” He was quoting from the Old Testament book of Hosea, which is a book that outlines Israel’s unfaithfulness to God. In other words, Jesus was indirectly telling the Pharisees, “You are the covenant people but you have been like an adulterous woman and have gone wayward.” One of the causes listed in Hosea that leads to the waywardness of God’s people and rebellion is that they lack knowledge: “...my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). This is one of the keys to the book of Hosea. The Hebrew word for “knowledge” is built from the root word YADA, which when it is used of God, speaks in relational tones. We can have knowledge about someone and not YADA them. What Jesus is essentially saying to the Pharisees through the book of Hosea is “You may know a lot about God but you don’t know Him—you don’t know God. You can memorize Scripture and be an expert in it, but that doesn’t mean you know God. You don’t YADA Him.”
The Pharisees were so caught up in all the rules and observing sacrifice that they missed the point of God’s heart, which is mercy, compassionate treatment of those in distress. In the book of Hosea, it tells us that God is going to send His Prophet who will heal their sicknesses and diseases; He is doing this solely because He is a merciful compassionate God. We cannot YADA God and not feel compassion for the needs of others.
Prayer: Merciful compassionate God, thank You for coming to save a sinner like me. I confess my sins to You and I desire to be healed by You. Draw me closer to You that I may truly YADA You.