Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus. (4-6).
I am struck by how caustic the Pharisees can be. This poor deformed man is healed on a Sabbath and the Pharisees go ballistic. So ballistic, in fact, that they conspire with hated enemies –the Herodians- on plans to kill Jesus!
What a reflection of human nature those Pharisees are… they provide a window into the darker places of the human soul.
The Pharisees were so locked into their human traditions that they are willing to break God’s law in order to keep their human laws (which they believed honored God’s law). How confused is that?
In order to keep their understanding of Sabbath, they were willing to conspire to kill someone which is a direct break of the 10 Commandments. That's how far off track we humans can become.
I began to wonder if there were places I, too, am so blind? I wondered if there are places where I confuse my human understanding or the way my society understands things that it causes me to break the clear meaning of God’s Word? The contextually honest and historically faithful understanding of God’s Word must be the bedrock of my life. I must constantly be holding myself up to its standard NOT making my life the standard for God’s Word.
In my society hate speech is becoming the norm. Differences in religion, race and nationality are open game for hate speech. Yes, I may disagree with various political views or religious beliefs, but to speak hatefully about them or toward them is a breach of God’s Word to not let unwholesome talk come out of my mouth and Jesus’ admonition in Mathew 5 about calling someone ‘raca’, you fool.
So as I watch and listen to the Pharisees, the Lord pierces my soul causing me to look at my own life…
How about you?
Oh, Lord, we can be so caustic as humans… Give me strength to live for You and according to Your ways, not by my human instincts which are corrupted by sin. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.