July 18, 2013

Free to Serve Others

Matthew 12:9-14

“How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
—Matthew 12:12


As he traveled toward the synagogue with the Pharisees close behind, Jesus met a man who had a shriveled hand.

Except for cases in which someone’s life was in danger, the Pharisees considered healing another type of work not allowed on the Sabbath.

But Jesus said, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep!” Then he told the man to stretch his hand out and, as he did, his hand was completely restored!

Jesus summed up what the Pharisees had just seen in this way: “Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” As he had just told them recently, God desires mercy more than sacrifice (Matthew 12:7).

The rhythm of our lives is to include the practice of mercy. We’re to embrace people over and above things. By our actions, others should be able to see that relationships are important to us. Relationships matter to us. People count.

Practicing Sabbath is about being free to serve others in our daily lives. We need to intentionally and deliberately take time for the people God has placed all around us: our family, our church family, other friends, and people in our community.

Father in heaven, keep us from selfish distractions. May we learn to look not only to our own interests but also to the interests of others. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Shawn Brix

Rev. Shawn Brix has served as pastor in several Ontario churches. He and his wife, Jenny, have three children.

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