Michael De Haan : June 1, 2014
In Jesus’ first public sermon recorded in Matthew 5 there is a hidden gem that might be easily missed.
It is nestled between two scandalous statements about murder and lawsuits. You might skim past it if you’re not looking for it.
In Matthew 5:23-24 Jesus said that if you come to worship to leave an offering and are reminded of a conflict against a friend, go seek reconciliation with urgency. Then return to the altar and offer the gift of worship.
That’s fascinating Think about what he’s saying. You’re supposed to leave your gift (lamb, goat, bull, etc.) in Jerusalem at the temple, travel however many days it took you get to Jerusalem (let’s say it took 3 days), reconcile with your neighbor, then travel the three days back to Jerusalem and THEN you could offer your sacrifice.
It seems to me that Jesus seemed to know that offering forgiveness meant you had to go way out of your way in order to truly offer it.
My question for you today is how could you live the truth of that Scripture today in your home?
Here are some thoughts to get you started answering that question:
- Forgiveness Matters- Jesus prioritized forgiveness and reconciliation in this passage. It is essential to healthy relationships and families.
- Don’t Wait- There is a sense of urgency in this passage. Jesus placed importance on pursuing reconciliation quickly.
- Forgiveness Unleashes Worship- After reconciliation takes place there is an invitation to return to worship God in true freedom.
It‘s interesting to think of how far out of the way this one guy goes to offer forgiveness–a three day journey! Why not just put it off till tomorrow, after offering the sacrifice and worshiping God?
The problem is, that’s not how God chose to forgive. He went way out of the way to offer us forgiveness. It was inconvenient. It was a tough, long journey. But there was also a purpose and reason for the journey. Yeah, it was tough, but the restored relationship it offered was well worth it!
Here are some quick questions to end with today:
- Is there conflict in your home that you are concerned about right now?
- Are you seeking reconciliation with urgency?
- Are you prioritizing forgiveness in your relationships?
- Would your teenager say that your home is a place of grace?
Let Jesus’ words inspire you today to experience peace in your home and pursue reconciliation in your family.
Feel free to share with me your thoughts about this newsletter. I look forward to connecting with you each time.