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Practical Observations.

1. Men often do not know themselves. These Scribes and Pharisees regarded themselves very religious men, and very loyal to Moses. They kept the letter of the ceremonial law. They trampled under foot its spirit.

2. Men in their eagerness to entrap others often fall into their own snares. Many a man has fallen into the pit that he has digged for others. These Scribes and Pharisees in seeking to confuse Jesus brought confusion on themselves.

3. Before we condemn others we should examine ourselves and see whether we are free from the sin we condemn. “With what measure we mete unto others, it shall be measured unto us again.”

4. “The merciful shall obtain mercy.” On the one hand in the Scriptures stand the proud, religious, punctilious Pharisees, scorning to touch a publican or a “sinner.” On the other hand stands the merciful Jesus, “the Friend of publicans and sinners,” who had come to call, “not the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

5. Still our mercy must be like that of Jesus, sorrow for the sinner, but indignation for sin. It must not degenerate into indifference. Like Christ, our mercy should lead us to “seek to save men from their sins,” to call sinners to repentance, to open the door of hope to the fallen if they will only “go and sin no more.” Sin is not the less sinful that there is mercy offered to the penitent sinner.

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