Summary: Scott Rush is one of four Australians who were arrested in Bali in 2005, with about 8kg of heroin strapped to his thighs. He was found guilty of a capital crime. DOES SCOTT RUSH DESERVE MERCY? What has this got to do with keeping the Sabbath?
Part 2 - Matthew 12:5-7 - DOES SCOTT RUSH DESERVE MERCY?
On the news recently a former federal police chief Mick Keelty went into the witness box to PLEAD FOR MERCY for the "drug mule" SCOTT RUSH who is condemned to death before a firing squad in Bali. Scott Rush is only 24 years old. He is one of four Australians who were arrested in Bali in 2005, with about 8kg of heroin strapped to his thighs. He was found guilty of a capital crime.
Mr Keelty is asking for mercy so that he will not be executed. Many people have said in effect, "Why should we beg for mercy for a drug smuggler to be saved from being executed? He chose to do it, knowing the risk. We should be grateful the world is rid of another drug smuggler, not BEGGING FOR MERCY to be extended to him." DOES SCOTT RUSH DESERVE MERCY? In Australia, offenders are allowed to live!
In Matthew 12, the disciples of Jesus are plucking grain on a SATURDAY. Saturday is the SABBATH, a rest day. Picking grain is viewed as work by the Pharisees, so in their eyes they are BREAKING THE SABBATH LAW. In Numbers 15:32-36 a man was caught gathering wood on the Sabbath day. In that passage the Lord says to Moses, "The man must be PUT TO DEATH!" and so he was stoned him to death by the community, just as the Lord had commanded. It was regarded as a serious offence! DO THE DISCIPLES DESERVE MERCY?
In Matthew 12:5 (NLT), "Jesus said to them, "... haven’t you read in the law of Moses that the PRIESTS ON DUTY IN THE TEMPLE MAY WORK ON THE SABBATH?" There are EXCEPTIONS where working on the Sabbath is lawful. The inference is that the disciples are PRIESTS or at the least like priests. They work for Jesus. They are allowed to eat the sacred loaves with IMMUNITY. John, writing years later, would agree. He says that those who know Christ personally as their Lord and Saviour are a "KINGDOM OF PRIESTS" (Revelation 1:6 and 5:10). In fact in Hebrews 4:14 Jesus is called our "GREAT HIGH PRIEST".
How does this help Scott Rush? There are NO EXCEPTIONS concerning drug trafficking! He is however calling himself a Christian now, a disciple of Christ. Romans 6:23 (NLT) says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." It can’t hurt to receive the gift of ETERNAL LIFE that Christ offers when you have the DEATH SENTENCE hanging over you. By the way, this verse says we are all under the death sentence without Christ.
Knowing Christ personally, THE JUDGE of all the earth (2 Timothy 4:1) has some definite fringe benefits. He knows the law better than anyone and will find a way to show His MERCY. In Matthew 12:7 (NLT) Jesus says to the Pharisees "... you would not have condemned my innocent disciples if you knew the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show MERCY, not offer SACRIFICES.’ The full quote is from Hosea 6:6 (NIV,NLT) where God is speaking to His people saying "For I desire MERCY, NOT SACRIFICE. I want you to KNOW ME more than I want burnt offerings."
According to Wikipedia, Mercy is a Medieval Latin term meaning "price paid, wages". It can refer to the COMPASSIONATE BEHAVIOUR of a judge to a convicted person, humanitarian acts, or just compassion shown by one person to another. Jesus paid the price for my sins by dying on my behalf, which allows God to SHOW MERCY to me when I trust in Christ. DOES SCOTT RUSH DESERVE MERCY?
1 Peter 2:10 (NLT) says "...you have received God’s mercy." If God has shown us mercy, "PRICE PAID", then should we not show mercy to others? James 2:13 (NLT) says "There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when He judges you."
God bless you Church as you extend the grace and mercy of God to others. Titus 3:4-7 (NLT) says "When God our Saviour revealed His kindness and love, He saved us, NOT because of the righteous things we had done, but because of HIS MERCY. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Because of HIS GRACE He declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life."
Oh and by the way, the answer is "NO!" Mercy is mercy because it is undeserved!