6I tell you that one greater than the temple is here.
7If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.
8For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
Matthew 12:6-8 (NIV)
The above is an exchange between Jesus and the theologians. Throughout the Bible, we can see that Jesus’ greatest enemies were not the clear sinners like the prostitutes and the tax collectors. It was the theologians who hated Jesus the most. Ironically, many Christians today allow themselves to be manipulated by Jesus’ enemies today. We Christians must always remember that theologians are the real enemies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The above passage tells us that one of their weapons is religious ritual.
Here is the background. Jesus and his team walked through a grain field. Some of them felt hungry and took some grains to eat. A theologian saw that and rebuked Jesus for doing something unlawful in Sabbath. Does this sound familiar to you? Theologians and doctrine worshippers like to impose their rules on us through terms like “unlawful”, “against doctrines” and “non-biblical” as though we cannot read the Bible ourselves and see through their lies. In Singapore, we have some Christian militants doing their evil under the mask of “conservative majority” as though they can fool us into believing that they have the support from all religions here.
Jesus told the theologians off by telling them that his desire is mercy and not sacrifice. This is an important lesson for all Christians who choose to obey God and not the lies of theology. A Christian life is a life of mercy, not sacrifice. There may be times where we have to make mutually exclusive choices where sacrifice may be necessary but it should not be a norm for us. The norm for all Christians must always be mercy.
What is mercy? It means helping others to overcome their bad situation whether they deserve it or not. We are presently in the worst recession. Many people have lost their jobs and homes. Many people have been living in poverty, not having enough to eat and having no access to basic medical care. How should out mercy respond to these people?
It is definitely not telling them that it is the will of God for them to be poor for his glory, or God wants them to starve to show them his sufficient grace. God wants you to sacrifice your health and wealth because your poverty and sickness makes him happy. All these are perversions from theology.
The true will of God is for us to do what we can within our capability to help these people. This is mercy. Not only that, our capability can increase if we allow God to help us. For example, you may only have enough money to feed one starving family in your neighborhood. This is very merciful of you. However, God expects much more from you and he intends to help you to do it. God wants you to be richer so that you can provide for 100 families. Once you have reached that stage, God wants you to be even richer and help 1,000,000 families. This means financial prosperity is a part of being merciful.
Those theologians who said that sometimes God wants us to be poor are lying. The truth is God wants us to be merciful. To be rich is to be merciful to the poor. Therefore, all Christians are called to be rich. We are blessed to be a blessing. When Jesus said he desired mercy, he will also provide us with all the means to be merciful.
So, how merciful are you? That will determine how much prosperity you are going to get.