Thursday, October 29, 2009

Daily - 10/29/09

Luke 14:1-6

1 On a sabbath he went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully.

2 In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy.

3 Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking, "Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?"

4 But they kept silent; so he took the man and, after he had healed him, dismissed him.

5 Then he said to them, "Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?"

6 But they were unable to answer his question.

By this episode we are three chapters into a series of encounters between Christ and the Pharisees. We've been told previously that they are watching him closely, they hate him, and they are trying to catch him in blasphemous acts so he can be arrested.

Christ doesn't duck this question at all. He uses the sick man in front of him to show them how far away from God they actually were. When asked if it's lawful to heal the man, they see it as a catch-22. I think of Christ's response as something like this: "Do you guys really think that God wants you to put this man off? Do you really think that we keep the sabbath by denying mercy to one who seeks it? Do you really know so little about your Lord?"

Meandering off the reservation a bit ...

At times I've struggled to understand how the Pharisees could have gotten the way they were. But I tend to forget that God gave the Law to expose sin. In giving the Law without the grace of Christ to keep it, he in effect showed Israel how he wanted them to live -- AND that they couldn't do it on their own.

So it is with us today. We mortals cannot keep the divine Law on our own. We cannot reach our full potential as a creation of God without the Lord's help. To bridge that gap, the Lord gave us Christ, and in doing so He allows us to share in His divinity. It is Christ -- the fulfillment of the ancient Law -- that allows us to live the way God wants us to.

Sometimes I loose track of this as I muck around in "the world." God has offered His divinity to us in Christ. He gave us Christ to atone for our sins, and to transform us into what we can truly be, so we can do His work on earth.