Off Target

Some of the Pharisees asked, "Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?"

Here the religious leaders are off target once again. Religion for them is almost exclusively about keeping their rules. But they completely miss the point of God’s commands.

For them, God’s Word is given for only one purpose – to keep track of who is right and who is wrong. And as is usually the case with such misguided religious people, they think they have it right!

Religion that only focuses on rule-keeping misses the purpose of the rules. To point us in the direction of God’s nature and character! To shepherd us to more loving, merciful and grace-filled hearts!

And such religion always takes the next short step to a judgmental spirit. So they are watching Jesus for one purpose only.

The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath.

Of course, Jesus does the most loving, merciful and grace-filled thing. On the Sabbath Day no less! He heals the man with a withered hand.

Are they happy about this? Rejoicing with the man? Not a chance!
But they were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.

Yes, they knew the rules, but they were off target. So far off they didn’t even recognize the character of God when Jesus showed up at the synagogue that day!

Today, students of the Teacher realize the assignment is to become like Him. Observing Jesus’ teaching leads there if we’re on target!

1 comment:

  1. verse 12 keeps ringing in my mind: In these days he went out to a mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God

    Last week i was reminded of a song at camp - and taught those there - the 2nd verse says:

    Oh Lord I need a mountain to climb on
    Just a quiet place to go and know You're there
    Oh Lord I need to spend some time with You
    Jesus spent the night with you in prayer.
    The greatest friend you'll ever find
    is on a lonely mountain.
    The highest high you'll ever reach
    is when you kneel to pray
    The brightest light you ever see
    is when you close your eyes
    OH Lord you are my first love
    At last I realize.

    When was the last time we spent significant time in prayer? All night?

    The Teacher understood this was an important spiritually refreshing thing to do.