Fola Komolafe & Denika Campbell-Lee
If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath. Matthew 12:7-8 (NIV)
Jesus never condemns us! John 3:17 says that, ‘God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.’ It is such a terrible weight to feel condemned by anyone and I so love how Jesus demonstrated His love, mercy and saving power with the woman who had been caught in the act of adultery in John 8:3-11. The woman was brought to Him to be stoned, according to the law of Moses, by the scribes and pharisees. Jesus responded to her accusers saying, he that is without sin among them should cast the first stone. They all left and Jesus loved her saying in John 8:11, “Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.” Jesus will always forgive every sin.
In Matthew 12, the disciples were with Jesus, they were hungry, and they took some grain of corn to eat. The pharisees once again turned to Jesus accusing the disciples of doing what is unlawful on the sabbath day. Jesus responded explaining that if only they knew what it meant to crave and long for compassion and kindness to be shown towards those under one’s power rather than their destruction (mercy), they would not have expressed unfavourable and adverse judgement towards those without evil intent or motive.
Reading these verses has helped me see really how Jesus saw the sabbath; whenever the pharisees were trying to use it as an excuse to condemn, Jesus would shut them down. It’s not that Jesus has anything against the sabbath, but any religious thing that is used to condemn others is not what He or Christianity is about. Jesus makes it clear to us that He is the Lord of the sabbath so if He doesn’t have a problem with what the disciples are doing then neither should the pharisees.
I believe God is saying that we need to stop looking for ways to tear each other down – Christian to Christian. There are too many examples of people condemning or looking down on a mother who had a baby out of wed lock or a young boy who has worn his jeans a bit too tight to church. Jesus died for the same people we continue to condemn, and He loves us all the same way. We don’t know what the Lord is doing in someone’s life, and unless instructed by the Lord for edification not condemnation, if we’re honest it’s not our business.
It is more favourable and important to the Lord that we show compassion and kindness towards each other; lift each other up and comfort one another. The Bible tells us that the two GREATEST & MOST IMPORTANT commandments are to love God and love others (Matthew 22:36-38) so that should be our aim and focus.
Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus… Romans 8:1 (AMPC)