““If anyone of the common people sins unintentionally in doing any one of the things that by the Lord’s commandments ought not to be done, and realizes his guilt, or the sin which he has committed is made known to him, he shall bring for his offering a goat, a female without blemish, for his sin which he has committed.”
Leviticus 4:27-28 ESV
You know my heart Father. Forgive me for what I think, say, and do. I want to always honor You Lord. I give You all the praises. Amen.
In the Old Testament we learn that all unintentional sin is to be remedied and atoned for with an altar offering to God. By Jesus’ time, he says to “sin no more” (John 5:14 ESV; John 8:11 NKJV) which could be seen as more stringent than the food or burnt offering of the past. If you commit the same sin again, then who besides God determines intent?
The man in John 5:14 was physically paralyzed for 38 years before being healed by Jesus. Only Jesus knew what this man had done to end up paralyzed. Today, we would not question if a sin was committed by a paralyzed person. We would assume birth defect, a victim of crime, a soldier’s injury, an accident, or a number of other things. We do not have the discernment to see and know more. Maybe all abnormalities in Jesus’ time was considered the results of sin. Just like people with dementia were said to be possessed by demons, and today doctors say it’s just deterioration of the brain–we’re left to interpret. We’re left to assume.
We’re also left to love them anyway, for they are all God’s children, which means they are our brothers and sisters. It doesn’t matter if you think their condition is a result of sin, demons, or something else. Love them. Pray for them.
The woman in John 8:11 was caught in the act of committing adultery. Only she was brought forward for punishment, but not the man she was committing adultery with. Was her sin intentional or not? Jesus forgave her and told her to sin no more. He didn’t question if she had malice in her heart. He obviously knew that answer. He didn’t question her intent, as he also knew that. He looked in her eyes and told her not to do it again.
Jesus was irritated that the scribes and Pharisees would be so quick to bring a sinner to him, when they weren’t free of sin, when they too were sinners—quick to point the finger of blame at someone else.
So how do we resolve our unintentional sin in this day? Do we acknowledge, atone, and sin no more? Or do we acknowledge, atone, provide an altar offering that is more aligned with man’s laws and standards of today? Or do we simply acknowledge and wait for the day we pass away?
These questions have been pondered for generations. It’s safe to say that they will continue to be for many more generations.
Questions of the Day
1. What would you like to add to today’s prayer and/or reflection?
2. When you recite today’s scripture, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
3. What are your thoughts about unintentional sin and how we rectify our sin so that we’re made whole again in God’s eyes?
4. How do you think the Old and New Testaments align with today’s views, standards, and ways of life?
Feel free to share your answers, prayers, comments, and reflections in the comment section below. You can also send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Copyright 2013-2015. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. Prior posts from 2009-2013 are copyrighted under the name Natasha L. Foreman. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible,
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