Religion or a Relationship? by Marvin D. Patterson

Religion or a Relationship?
Marvin Patterson
Matthew 12:43-50


As we finish this tremendous twelfth chapter of Matthew's gospel, we remember that the Pharisees have challenged our Lord. The Pharisees are jealous of Jesus, and they try to trap him in the Sabbath day laws. They see Jesus and the disciples eat corn or grain on the Sabbath Day, and they say that Jesus is breading the Sabbath. But in reality, He was not. One could eat corn on the Sabbath, but not sell corn for profit on the Sabbath. And then they watched to see if Jesus would heal the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath Day, and Jesus asked them which of you would not get the sheep out of the ditch if it had fallen into it on the Sabbath Day? The Lord healed the man, and healed many others as well. After this, the Pharisees claim that Jesus was doing His miracles through the power of Satan, but Jesus said they had committed the unpardonable sin, in that they attributed the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan. These Pharisees were always criticizing and complaining! They remind me of a story I heard.

I think of a monk who joined a monastery and took a vow of silence. After the first 10 years his superior called him in and asked, "Do you have anything to say? If so, say it in only two words." The monk replied, "Food bad." After another 10 years the monk again had opportunity to voice his thoughts in two words, and he said, "Bed hard." Another 10 years went by and again he was called in before his superior. When asked if he had anything to say, with his two words, he responded, "I quit." His superior said, "It doesn't surprise me a bit. You've done nothing but complain ever since you got here."

D. L. Moody often received letters and notes criticizing him for his ministry. One day, he received an anonymous note with nothing but the word "FOOL!" written on it. The next morning he got in church and said, "I've gotten many notes without signatures before but this is th ...

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