Day 72 – Living by the Letter of the Law
On: January 11, 2015   |   By: admin   |   Under: Blog   |   Comments: Comments are off

On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shrivelled. 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. But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shrivelled hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” So he got up and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might  do to Jesus. [Luke 6:6-11]

How could the Pharisees be so narrow minded? Their predecessors had taken the Mosaic Law and developed a complex set of hundreds of rules. These were followed to the letter. They thought they were doing God’s will by placing such a fanatical focus on the detail of everyday life.

To those looking on, this was absurd; in this case, obscene. Jesus had been exercising and offering freedom; the Pharisees were trading in slavery. How do we get a healthy balance between living a life pleasing to God and yet rejoicing in the freedom Jesus has bought for us?

The key, surely, is to trust in our relationship with Jesus, and seek the daily guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is the creative and risky path, as there will be no boxes to tick and probably many loose ends. But the alternative is a life of guaranteed failure, for we will never get it all right and those around us will see little or nothing of a loving Saviour at work in our lives.

Jesus said to them I ask you which is lawful on the Sabbath?


Father God, please show me how to live in freedom, that I might be light and hope to those bound by the shackles of religious or secular culture. Amen.

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