May 30, 2016

The True Intent of the Law

Luke 6:6-11

Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?”

—  Luke 6:9

During World War II, France was occupied by Nazi Ger­many. Anyone caught helping Jews would be killed or sent to concentration camps. In the small village of La Chambon, Pastor Andre Troceme and his Protestant church decided to hide Jews in their homes, provide them with new identities, and integrate their children into their schools. This pastor and his parishioners were credited with saving 5,000 Jewish lives. They violated the Nazi’s hateful law and risked their own lives to help others.

During Jesus’ time, a man with a deformed hand had worshiped in the synagogue for years. But on one particular Sabbath day, he met Jesus. “Get up and stand in front of everyone,” said Jesus. As the man got up, he was probably not sure what was going to happen, but he was willing to obey. And Jesus was willing to demonstrate, especially on the Sabbath, that God was interested in helping his people. Jesus was God’s answer in ushering in his kingdom of mercy, grace, and restoration. Jesus was not made for the Sabbath; he fulfilled it in his coming as the true Messiah.

Doing good on any day is the best way to live by the will of God. Visit a sick friend, help a single mother, mentor a child. Let’s go and act like Jesus today!

Lord, I want to bring your kingdom into my own family and neighborhood today. Nudge me to serve you in order to usher in a culture of life and mercy. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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