“How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
I am a bit of a rule follower. I am MUCH better today than I was when I was younger but it can be so easy to see the world as black and white with little to no grey at all.
I wonder if I was around with Jesus if I too would have been running around quoting the law (perhaps even to Jesus)? You can’t do this or you can’t do that-see (as I’m pointing to scripture) Jesus, it says it RIGHT here.
Jesus is love. The single most important commands to Jesus, the one’s he says all other laws hinge upon: love God and our neighbors. It’s the hermeneutical lens through which Jesus, i.e. the Son of God, views all other scripture; yes, all other scripture.
Hermeneutical lens simply means the way we interpret, read, and understand scripture based on our background, our knowledge, and our experiences. Jesus, of course, had all these in droves. He was divine as much as he was human.
Jesus is getting bombarded by folks kinda just like me.
Healing people is a good thing!
Oh wait, healing people on the Sabbath is not a good thing. Wait… I don’t know!
In our scripture reading today Jesus is dropping some truth bombs. Aren’t people more important than sheep, he asks? Didn’t God make all of us in his image and therefore we are all sacred beings?
I am sure all the folks were shaking their heads in agreement but it was hard to get past the fact that scripture was clear about this. Like, really clear about this.
Then, Jesus, the Son of God, says “Therefore, it IS LAWFUL to do good on the Sabbath.”
Wait, what? How can scripture be wrong? It isn’t. Jesus is just helping them (and us) understand that we can take scripture waaaayyyy too far to the extreme (even too literally at times) and put that really important command (remember: love God with all our heart, soul, and mind…and love each other as ourselves) way on the backburner.
God never wants us to not help, care for, love, protect, or value each other. When Jesus heals on the Sabbath it’s a non-conversation starter-Love trumps everything. The right thing (to love) for Jesus is always the easy choice.
We can still find ourselves putting rules above people. I can still find myself putting rules above people but Jesus is reminding us, and reminding me, to stop. Reminding us that we are important and we are blessed children of God.
I feel like we all need to be reminded of this from time to time as we debate the sacredness of people not like us. Jesus is still asking us “Aren’t people more important than laws, rules, ideologies…?”
Are we really listening or are we still trying to “right fight” with Jesus? You know what right fighting is? Right fighting is when you get to the point where you are fighting just to be right even when you suspect you may actually be wrong.
May it be so,
Rev. Lou Ward
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