No. 119
From Wendy Howard [Editor of Despatch magazine], Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia.
Access Online

Getting to know God together.

The Bible’s most wonderful message is the good news about Jesus, our Saviour!
His concern is always with the ones who are sorry for their wrong doing. Some men and women, boys and girls, think they are just too good to be sorry about anything they do and think! They might say, “I go to church on Sunday. I never do drugs, or smoke or drink. I don’t swear or gamble. I am one of the best people I know.” Jesus Christ is not at all pleased when we think we are pretty marvellous. None of us, no boy or girl or adult, is so good that they have never been sinners! Here is a story Jesus told about that very thing. It is one of His parables:

“9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous (really good people), and despised others ( looked  on them as nothings):
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee (a very religious man), and the other a publican ( a man who collected the taxes for the government).
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are], extortioners (cheats and con-men), unjust (sinners), adulterers (unfaithful to their husbands or wives), or even as this publican (crook).
12 I fast ( go without food for religion) twice in the week, I give tithes  (pay money to the temple) of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as [his] eyes unto heaven, but smote (thumped) upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.  14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified (right with God) [rather] than the other: for every one that exalteth himself (puffs himself up with pride) shall be abased (brought down); and he that humbleth himself (bows before God in sorrow for sin) shall be exalted (lifted up by God). “ (Luke 18:11-14).

Christians can sometimes be very sure that they are pretty fine people. But we all must come close to God and be humble. Jesus showed that God is not pleased with proud, self-righteous people. Jesus knows about our hearts and attitudes inside. He helped a poor sinning woman who everyone hated. She was very sorry about her wicked life, and wanted to change forever. Jesus showed His lovely forgiveness to her, even when a religious man was out-raged by His mercy toward her. It happened like this:

Jesus was having a meal with a Pharisee (a very religious man) when this sinner woman came to the house. She had brought a box of ointment with her. It had cost a lot of money. She really loved Jesus because He had shown her what forgiveness and God’s love was all about. So, she did a strange but beautiful thing. She began to wash His feet with her tears, and she wiped His feet with her hair. Then she kissed them, and poured the costly ointment on them!  The Pharisee was real put out by this, he despised that woman! He said that Jesus was not a true man of God, or He would have known what a nasty type was kissing His feet. Jesus said this:

“Her sins which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much...” (Luke 7:37,38 & 47).

“Help me, dear Lord, to be humble and loving. Keep me from being proud and self-righteous. Thank You for the forgiveness that is given to us in Christ Jesus.
I want to be like Jesus, forgiving those who do wrong against me. Amen.”

Did Jesus have any brothers and sisters?
We will see if He did tomorrow.
Bye for now, lambs of God.

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