Topic: God’s Mercy and Patience towards Babes in Christ
Texts: Hebrews 2:17-18; 4:14-16; 1 Peter 2:2; Isaiah 40:11
1. To teach us about God’s mercy and long-suffering towards sinners and new converts
2. To encourage babes in Christ to keep following and not give up despite their weaknesses
3. To prompt us to grow into Christian maturity.
God deals with us according to our individual maturity and measure of faith (Romans 12:3). There is one standard of holiness but all are not in the same spiritual class. Just as it is in the academic schools so it is. All are in their different grades, according to their levels of intelligence, ages, etc. A good teacher does not relate with all his pupils the same way knowing fully well that some are more intelligent than others despite the fact that they are in the same class. God deals with everyone in Christ on individual basis in some respects, as well as on a general basis.
Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd, He knows how to take care of the sick, weak and young ones. He understands each of them properly, knows their areas of strength and weaknesses. As a good Shepherd “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” ( Isa 40:11). He is a loving Father, therefore, “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.” (Psalm 103:13).
He overseas every aspects of our lives – physical and spiritual. He is the Good “Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:25). Therefore, He takes proper care of us.
Jesus Christ referred to Himself as a physician. Mark 2:17 says “When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” As the greatest physician He knows how to bear patiently with the infirmities of our flesh (weaknesses), giving us time and grace to change, transform and become conformed to His image. The greatest Physician knows that it is not the very day a sinner repents that he becomes spiritually matured. He needs some time to be sanctified.
In bearing with the weak He gives them time to grow into maturity. 2 Peter 3:9 says “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” This is so encouraging that anyone, no matter the weight of their sins and weaknesses, even if they are addicts, are invited and welcomed by the Lord for the proper treatment and healing of their souls and lives.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. How great is God’s mercy towards His children? Lam. 3:22, 23; Psalm 100:5.
2. How do people’s weaknesses prevent them from repenting of their sins?
3. How are we who are matured expected to live with those who are new in the faith? Ephesians 4:2; Col. 3:13; 2 Timothy 4:2.
The standard of God’s holiness should not scare us away, rather, we should be happy that, despite our sinfulness, we are given access to partake in the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ’s offer of Himself on the Cross of Calvary. Moses had nothing in himself that caused his face to shine. It was his abiding in God’s presence that lighted his inner being and the glory grew to the point of shining through Moses’ face. If we abide in Him His light will cleanse our darkness and make us the very light of the world (Matthew 5:14).
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Which child forbids going to his mother for a bath just because he is dirty? Or who is sick yet forbids seeing the doctor for free treatment?
Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”