What is your motive? What is your purpose? We live in a fallen world motivated by self-help, self-serve, self-made humans. We want what’s best. Best for who? Best of what? Best according to which benchmarks?
Matthew 9 included examples of Jesus’s best. He healed a paralyzed man; ate with tax collectors. He revived a dead girl, made the blind see, gave voice to the mute, exorcised a demonized man.
Jesus used his healing power, motivated by love. However, He was remained under people’s microscopic scrutiny. They questioned His motive behind what they considered madness. People quickly judged Jesus and questioned why He was eager to be compassionate to all.
Their accusations stemmed from blame and self-righteousness: “It’s not fair. They are sinners. At least I don’t do what he does. I’m glad I don’t live like she does.” God agreed. Life’s not fair, but according to who or what?
Scoffers at Jesus’s Cross could be defined as the ultimate discriminators. Jesus didn’t want to be stripped, mocked, whipped, and have spikes driven into His body. He didn’t ask to be left alone on a tree to suffocate. He willingly took the tongue and body lashings to save everyone.
Did people ask God what His motive was for Jesus then? Did they ask God why Jesus received harsh treatment after healing multitudes of sin? God’s motive behind His message is, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
God chose a selfless scapegoat to show mercy. Jesus dried a woman’s blood and later drained His own blood on the Cross. His compassion motivated Him toward passionate love for everyone. Humans judge by justice. God judges by mercy.
Jesus, thank You for Your righteous example to a self-righteous world.
But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners (Mt. 9:13).