14 On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely. 2 Just then, in front of him, there was a man who had dropsy. 3 And Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees, “Is it lawful to cure people on the sabbath, or not?” 4 But they were silent. So Jesus took him and healed him, and sent him away. 5 Then he said to them, “If one of you has a child or an ox that has fallen into a well, will you not immediately pull it out on a sabbath day?” 6 And they could not reply to this.
As I meditated on this, I was stunned to realise that the Pharisees WANTED Jesus to heal this man. Not because he needed to be healed, but so that they could charge Jesus with breaking the law.
Yet, when necessary they were gracious to themselves, they could break the law for a good reason, like rescuing someone or something, but they were not gracious to others in the same manner.
Clearly a double standard.
There is a parallel problem, one that I have wrestled with. That is to preach God’s amazing Grace to others but not allow myself to walk in the grace of God, instead I tried to please God by how I lived.
God didn’t give us the Law just so that he could burden us with it, but to show us our need of Jesus. God knows that we can’t possibly keep the law which is why he sent his son Jesus to pay the price for our sin. Now we live, not under law but grace, wonderful grace, amazing grace! It’s not a license to sin, but it is freedom from the law of sin and death, and the burden of trying to keep the Law to be acceptable to God.
I’m not acceptable to God because I can keep the law, or that I try to keep the law, I am acceptable to God because of Jesus, hallelujah!
Father, thank you for your amazing gift of grace. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus, to save us and set us free, not only from the law of sin and death, but also from the expectation that the only way to you was via the law.
Written by Andrew Martin