· Jesus’ disciples harvested grain for personal consumption.
· The problem was that the religious leaders had interpreted this action as “work” and therefore it was unlawful on the Sabbath
· The Pharisees accused them of breaking God’s law
· Jesus reminds them of the scriptures which teach that David broke the technicality of God’s law and yet God was still pleased with him
· Then Jesus claims to have direct authority over the Sabbath law (a role only God can assert)
· On another Sabbath (a theme here) Jesus was in the synagogue teaching and a man with a withered hand showed up
· The religious leaders were more concerned about whether Jesus was going to heal on the Sabbath rather than whether Jesus had the power to heal him in the first place.
· Jesus points out the craziness of their thinking with a question of which is better to do good or evil, to do good or bad? All the people know the answer, but the leaders are still more concerned with the letter of their law.
· Jesus heals the man to show both compassion as well as to back up his previous statement that he is Lord of the Sabbath (same principle as earlier, which is easier to say I am Lord of the Sabbath or heal – to show you I have authority I will heal)
· The religious leaders were mad because Jesus defied their law, and gave no though to the actual miracle they witnessed
· Right before picking the twelve disciples, Jesus made a point to get alone and pray throughout the evening.
· The twelve were not just to be disciples (student followers) but were also to be apostles (sent ones). (They would someday carry on the work of Jesus without him)
· Jesus was attracting large crowds to hear his teaching and receive a miracle
· Jesus teaches contrasting the simple and the proud, the common person and the religious leader
· There is a blessing for the poor, they will receive God’s kingdom as an inheritance
· There is a blessing for the hungry, God will fill them so they know no want
· There is a blessing for those who are sad and weeping, God will bring them to a place of laughter
· There is a blessing for those who are rejected because they follow Jesus, they will one day be accepted by the Father and receive a rich reward from Him.
· All these blessings seem to refer to the life to come
· There is a danger to be considered for those who are now rich, if you don’t know Jesus this may be the only comfort you know in eternity
· There is a danger to be considered for those who are now well off, if you don’t know Jesus this may be the only time you have a sense of being satisfied for all eternity
· There is a danger to be considered for those who are now happy, if you don’t know Jesus this may be the best you will ever feel for all of eternity
· There is a danger to be considered for those who are now well liked by all, if you don’t know Jesus God will cast you out of His presence like false prophets for all of eternity
· Jesus then teaches them the kind of people they should be to part of those God embraces in eternity
· Kind to those who are even your enemies
· Treat all people good, especially those who mistreat you
· Give to others, even if they take from you
· Be anxious to share with others, even if they can’t repay you
· Summary statement: Do to others as you would have them do to you (Golden Rule)
· Jesus points out that everyone good or bad treats those they like with kindness
· Just being kind to those who are kind to you is no big deal
· But goodness, mercy, generosity, and kindness given to those who do the opposite to you is a big deal, and God will richly reward you in eternity
· We are not to concern ourselves with others eternity and decide whether they are worthy of God or not.
· Our role is to forgive as God has forgiven us
· The way we judge others or refuse to forgive is the way God will forgive and judge us
· We need to make sure Jesus is our model because we will become like the one we follow
· Before we start trying to fix others we need to make sure that we ourselves are right with God and living in His grace
· The fruit of our lives is determined by our heart, and an indication of what’s in our heart is seen by the way we speak about others (especially those who are our enemies).
· If Jesus is Lord or master then it should show up in the fact that we obey him
· Jesus compares two kinds of people who hear his words
· One hears them and then obeys what he hears, he is like the one who built a house on a solid foundation
· The other is the one who hears but does nothing about it, he is like the one who built his house on the sand.
· When the storm comes only the house built on the rock will stand (when eternity comes, only those “Christians” who obeyed what they heard from Jesus will be ushered into eternity.
God is not impressed with my religion. There is no score card for religious activity like prayer meetings, church attendance, or even Bible reading. I need to be careful not to build a comfortable religious life for myself and thus deceive myself that I am good with God. He is concerned with my heart. God desires that I know Him and the one he sent, Jesus (John 17:3). The fruit of knowing him is that I not only know about him, but that I am following after Jesus and trying to obey him. Obedience is less about religious activity and more about my heart of love, kindness, generosity, and forgiveness towards others. When I give of myself – my money, time, and resources – especially those who against me or can’t pay me back, then I am reflecting Jesus and his love. In Jesus’ eyes this is true religion that pleases God. Following rules just to be proud of keeping the rules is senseless if it disregards the real needs of people. This doesn't mean I should disobey God’s commandments, but it does mean that the commandment that should be preeminent in my mind is His commandment to love.
The application for me today is clear. I need to love the people I come in contact with. I can’t avoid those I would rather not speak to, but instead go out of my way to be a blessing to them. People should truly know I am Jesus disciple because of my love, not just for my brothers and sisters in Christ, but for those who are set against me.
Father in heaven,
Forgive me for settling for a good religious life. I have become complacent in much of my life, being comfortable with an eased conscience. I want to develop the heart of Jesus more and more. Holy Spirit will you guide me today and open my eyes to those who need God’s love. May I not see them through my eyes of judgment and worth, but through God’s eyes of forgiveness and love. Help me not run from the people that give me an opportunity to grow to be more like Jesus. May my day be marked by Christ like actions of goodness, mercy, generosity, and kindness.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen
Posted on Thu, January 8, 2015
by Joel King