Rules aren’t bad. They really aren’t.
But, rules aren’t the end all, either. They don’t exist for their own good, but for the great good. They exist for order, for purpose, for benefit.
Not just because.
Jesus makes this point today in Matthew 12:5-8:
Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”
Keeping the Sabbath isn’t a bad thing. It’s a very good thing. In fact, it’s one of the top ten things that God wants us to do. It’s very important. But what was happening here was that the people loved the rule more than they loved the reason for the rule.
The reason for the rule is that God wants us to have some time that is set aside for rest, and to have some time set aside for worship. The Sabbath is so important for that. God wants us to honor it and keep it holy. Follow it. Live it. Honor it.
But, the people here weren’t worry about the reason. They were only focused on the rule. And so when Jesus healed someone on the Sabbath, they go angry. Because the rule said no.
Jesus said focus on me. Not the rule. When you focus on Him, you will follow the rule. When you focus only on the rule, you may miss Him.
Today, let us focus radically, wholly, totally on Him. And in that, we will follow the rules that He has for us to live by. Let us never go so focused on keeping the rules that we miss the point. Let us never get so focused on the rules that we miss Him.
Rules are good. But a true rule will point us to Jesus. Let’s make sure we are follow Him. And He’ll take care of the rest.
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