WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6, 2011
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.” Luke 6:9-10
At the time of Jesus, the Pharisees had written instructions on the Law to try and help the people obey the letter of the law to its most precise points. They believed that would protect from the calamity of the exiles their people had suffered through the centuries. This kind of thinking led them to some incredible extremes. They even believed that to heal someone, which was considered work, on the Sabbath day, which is God’s instituted day of rest, was to be considered sin.
So in this passage Jesus has another run-in with the pervasive legalists. Jesus heals a man’s hand knowing that it is the Sabbath and knowing this would bring criticism from legalists. He asks them the question “which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” This question was intentionally shameful. Jesus subtly declares the dominance of the spirit of the Law over the letter of the Law. Religion should never be an excuse to not help people.
- Praise God for who He is
- Confess your sinfulness and need for cleansing
- Allow His Spirit to draw you near
- Listen as He speaks to you
- Pray that God helps us to understand the spirit of the Law
- Pray that God shows us how our letter of the Law harms the spirit of it
- Thank God for hearing you
- Trust that God is at work to accomplish His will
What’s happening around us?
Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is a living answer to the question, “what would happen if Christians devoted the same discipline and self-sacrifice to nonviolent peacemaking that armies devote to war?” They believe they can transform war and occupation, our own lives, and the wider Christian world through the nonviolent power of God’s truth. Support CPT through prayer, fasting and nonviolent action in response to specific crises; provide financial support; join the Ontario Regional Group to focus on local peace; join a short-term peacemaking delegation; or become a CPTer.