In Matthew I read today about how Jesus taught the Pharisees a lesson. They were watching Him closely trying to catch Him doing something wrong. They thought they had found something to point their finger when they saw Jesus about to heal a man with a shriveled hand.
The Pharisees took the law very seriously and very literally. When they read not to work on the Sabbath they came up with very extreme practices for that: like no one was even allowed to pick something up on the Sabbath. So when Jesus was going to heal, they were looking for a way to interpret that as a sin.
But Jesus says, "It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."
When I read this I was reminded of the classic interpretation of this passage, the classic and important interpretation. A lot of times people like to think Christians are all about rules. No cursing, no drinking, no sex, no rock and roll. But that's not what Christianity is about at all! It's about a relationship with Jesus. We are not able to earn our salvation, our righteousness, we depend on Jesus alone.
But I also thought about how Christians take that classic and important interpretation and use it as an excuse to live their lives normally, unaffected by the Spirit's leading. We pretend that because we don't have to abide by rules, we don't have to think about how we really spend our days. But we forget that Jesus said "it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."
And maybe this is me stretching...but doesn't that sound like Jesus is saying that we don't have to worry about rules but that He wants us to do good?
Doesn't it sound like He wants us to respond to needs, opportunities, or conversations with grace, mercy, love, and goodness?
Heal, preach, give, pray, help, listen...be there for someone, be ready, be in the moment.
It sounds like while He's showing us that we don't have to live our lives enslaved to rules, He wants us to live our lives in obedience to Him.
I can't plan my life, even if someone tries, no one can truly plan their life. But I can pray that no matter what day it is, no matter how inconvenient or scary it may be, no matter how I feel, I will do good.
Tomorrow: Genesis 37:1-38:30