Weighty MattersBro. David Chancellor
4/8/2001 11:00 AM
Christ was trying to tell them they were missing the critical message of the law. Many times people get caught up on the form and miss out on the substance. We want to look at the weighty matters: judgment, mercy and faith. When we think of judgment, we often think of wrath poured out. We ought to consider judgment to mean "freedom from the oppressor." Mercy is often thought of as forgiveness of trespasses, but we also ought to think of it as the "showing of favor." Faith is more than just believing God. It is trusting what he can do. The Pharisees were omitting these weightier matters that weren't just "things", but "things to do."
Judgment in the Old Testament refers to a cause with people on both sides. This poor man spoken of here needs to be delivered of the ones that oppress him. Jesus spoke of the widow with the unjust judge. She needed someone to intervene for her. There will be times we will need someone to intervene for us. The poor man has nothing to offer, but he should not suffer a lack of justice simply because he is poor.
"Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment." We need to be right toward everyone else. In America we do tend to "respect the person of the poor" or "respect the person of the mighty." When it comes to judgment, we need to uphold that which is right, regardless of who it is. We want to be right in our dealings with our fellowman.
The importance of judgment is that our interactions would be right. Judgment is about whether or not we are able to live in peace and harmony with our fellowman. If we are living according to judgment - we won't be taking advantage of one another.
Proverbs 14:21, 22, 31
Judgment and mercy go together. Mercy has to do with showing favor, with giving to others. God would have us to help the poor. We should have a desire to help others.
The enemy was defeated. If God is on our side, it is not always up to us to fight some battles. God was merciful and led them out of the lad of Egypt. He delivered them from their oppressors. God would have us to help others and make their condition better. It is more than forgiving, but helping.
We often seek God for his mercy and help. We need to show to others what we want God to do for us. If we desire to help others, then it will help our relationships with others.
Faith has to do with our believing in God.
1. We must believe there is a God. If you don't believe they exist - then you have a tough time interacting with them.
2. We must also believe that God will do something for us.
Both are essential to having faith. God will give us what we need if we will seek him. It will produce something in our life. We expect God to show judgment and mercy to us. Without God's working, religion would be simply another form of social order.
We are instructed to trust God. Our confidence and trust in God is what the truth is all about. We can know him and have confidence that he will work in our life, too. The Old Testament is used to introduce us to God.
They had taken God's law and were focused on the wrong things and missing out on the essence of the law. They had changed what was emphasized. These weighty matters are still important. We want the blessing God has for us.