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Jesus Establishes His Authority Over the Sabbath

Jesus does it again.  He takes on conflict, sets the record straight, and does so with wisdom and compassion.
There are two stories back to back which establish one truth:  Jesus is in charge of setting policy for the Sabbath.  The first story is about recognizing human need as more important than rules and regulations.  Jesus ignored established Sabbath Day application because it closed with physical need, namely, hunger.  Insofar as we relate to the law, we never suspend human need in order to keep law.  These two ideas are contradictory.  The Pharisees unfortunately had elevated law above human need.  They became computers, robotic and severe as they fleshed out their views upon the backs of people.  Our takeaway is twofold:  have compassion on people who are in need and trust Jesus’ leadership in setting people above law.
The second story is about a man whose hand is withered.  The Pharisees, being bound by their lawless view of law, wanted Jesus to heal the man so they might have grounds to criticize.  However, their own views of law trapped them into preferring obedience to law over good things.  How terrible!  This is a complete reversal of God’s original intent.  Jesus heals the man, rebukes the Pharisees, and convinces us that he is our guy.  He sides with people over law.  Individuals are more important and this is good because we, you and I, are individuals before him.  He won’t overlook us.  Once again, we look to him for leadership and protection.
We would be remiss if we didn’t caution ourselves too.  Do I reference law over goodness?  Surely the tendencies of the Pharisees are alive and well.  These tendencies are fallen and human before they are Pharisaical.  Do I reference technicality at the expense of a greater good?  In accepting Jesus’ teaching we need also exercise caution lest we abandon all law and regulation for license.  Jesus’ abandonment of law was governed by love of people, not love for flaunting his will and satisfying his passions.
This message comes from Luke 6:1-11.  Want to listen? Here’s the online sermon archive.

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