by Rev Joel Yong
Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, Come here. And he said to them, Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill? But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, Stretch out your hand. He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
People have a tendency to see only the small picture and miss out on the grander vision..
Given a law, we tend to focus on the legislation rather than be concerned about the spirit behind the rule – how it came to be, what it seeks to uphold.
This is why the Pharisees were obsessed with the idea that no work could be done on the Sabbath – even if it was a work of healing!
With such a spirit – a Pharisee would let another die on the Sabbath rather than help them – because it meant work!
Rules are in place for a reason. Lose an understanding of that reason and all you have is empty tradition, rules that are blindly followed.
Jesus was angry that the Pharisees knew the rules but did not know the God behind the rules.
In the same way, in today’s world – we can know the Scriptures but not live the Scriptures – living life according to God’s will. There is a difference.
I always tell this story of a couple who sought counseling one day. The wife was an avid bible study group attendee. But the husband complained, “I cannot see how her bible study translates into her living. Each day after her study group – she comes home and devalues me with her words, and her actions!”
Friends- the Word in our bibles is a printed word. But if we live it out – we experience the Living Word.
Our knowledge of God then will not only be in our heads, but we will also know Him in our hearts.