Day 71 – Exercising Freedom
On: January 10, 2015   |   By: admin   |   Under: Blog   |   Comments: Comments are off

One Sabbath, Jesus was going through the grain-fields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” Jesus answered them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and, taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” [Luke 6:1-5]

Living by the book is comparatively easy. You stick to the rules and you’ll get on fine. But the law can sometimes be an ass. It’s a nice continuum that David broke them, and then the Son of David. Today the issue is gathering food, tomorrow carrying out healing. The battleground? The challengers, the ever present Pharisees, throw down a double gauntlet: they claim that Jesus was doing something unlawful, and doing it on the Sabbath. Jesus rebuffs both. He points out that David showed it’s more important to use your judgement to meet human need than stick religiously to the letter of the law. And then He claimed to be in charge of the Sabbath and so could do what He chose. If the first rankled the Pharisees, the second would have had them hopping mad.

There’s a risk and an opportunity here. The risk is that we can misuse the freedom from Old Testament rules we have in Christ by living indulgent and ill disciplined lives.

The opportunity, and hugely exciting it will be if we choose this path, is that we can explore an entirely counter cultural approach to life as we are led by the Spirit. And this will quite possibly be counter cultural for the church as well as the secular world.

Perversely, it is likely to be those stuck in a religious rut who will be wary of this expressed freedom and those outside of the faith circle who will find it intriguing and attractive.

Similarly, following a set of rules can be comfortable, whereas exercising freedom will take us into the unknown and uncomfortable. We must vote with our feet.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery [Galatians 5:1]

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