The penalty for working on the sabbath was separation from one’s family at best, and death at worst. Yet, Jesus understood that there were some human needs that warranted an over-ride of even God’s holiest day. Don’t believe me? Let’s read the Bible…
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”
Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
Yes, in the eyes of Christ, even the holiest things were meant to serve their society until they simply didn’t any more.
Despite the blaring example set by Christ himself, the evangelical church cannot seem to imagine that there might be societal issues that warrant the overthrowing of what we’ve deemed “holy.” Like the religious folks of Christ’s day, we’ve decided that the rules are more important than the people they’re meant to serve.
For example: We place our canon of scripture above anything and everything in the world… including the our well-being and the welfare of others. We say: “Women can’t serve in the church because the Bible says so,” even if they possess the skills and anointing needed to take our movement to the next level. We say “Gays cannot marry because the Bible doesn’t offer room for same-sex marriage,” even if the two people love one another more than any of our married heterosexual friends.
We’ve decided that we cannot stretch beyond our worldview because we wish to fully obey our canon of scripture. And in doing so, we have become the very thing Jesus rallied against. We’re the religious people of the Bible, and have no clue that we’ve taken on this counterproductive role. I believe that if Christ were here, He would tell us that the Bible was made for man, and not man for the Bible. In other words, our canon of scriptures was provided for a purpose, but like the sabbath, there are times when it does not serve humanity well.
My goodness. What would happen if we had the courage to truly minister the way Christ did? One can only imagine.