Advent Day 10: WWJD?

 Advent Day 10 Reading: Matthew 12:10b-14

Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked Him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” He said to them, “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 man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

Prior to this discourse with the Pharisees, Jesus had proven evidence of His power through the numerous miracles and healings He’d preformed. His motive for each miracle was always to bring relief to the hurts of humanity, and not to be misconstrued as a means of setting up a new national kingdom. Ushering His kingdom to earth, as it is in heaven, was always His goal.

On the other hand, the Pharisees focused on priding themselves for keeping every jot and tittle of the Law, which they used as their plumbline or measuring stick to validate their degree of righteousness and right standing with God. Performing good works was always their chief goal, but the motive behind their good works was not necessarily for the well-being of the person, but more so to earn their righteousness.

Compassion and humility were never words used in their vocabulary, much less character traits.  Jesus Christ, the all-powerful Son of Man, incarnated Himself on earth for the primary purpose to seek and save the lost, and  with compassion always manifested His power to do just that.  He understood the purposes behind the Law, and although He abided by it, He understood that its purpose was to honor and serve His kingdom values, not the other way around.

As discussed in great detail in the book of Romans, the letter of the Law can kill, but the Spirit is what brings life.  Don’t get me wrong here. Jesus called a spade and spade when there was sin the camp. He always called the sinner to repentance, but with that said, He didn’t worship the Law, but the God who wrote the Law.

What are you worshipping today?  The rules, or the God who rules all?  The Law was created to honor and bless mankind, not to be worshipped at mankind’s expense. The Law shows us our need for a Savior, and leads us to right living. FOR our well-being and others.  Because mercy and love always triumph over judgment, we need God’s discernment  before implementing Law in any given circumstance.  

This is the reason we are to ask and seek God for wisdom, (knowing the right thing to do, at the right time, for the right reason), and the great news is God promises to give us wisdom liberally. You see, without the wisdom of God, we run the risk of having knowledge, but not the God-given understanding we need, as to how to apply that knowledge. When this occurs we run the risk of actually missing the mark we are shooting for, and actually doing just the opposite of the intent that is behind that Law we are trying to obey.

As we prepare for the Advent, let’s set aside some time with God to search our hearts for pockets of religion that have crept their way in and manifested outwardly as legalism and judgment.  Spend time reading the Gospels and use Christ’s example as your measuring stick, then ask yourself, WWJD, or in other words, What Would Jesus Do?

-The Quilted Poetess

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