Luke 13:10-17

hammer, books, law

In this passage, we see an instance where rules have taken the place of compassion, and a prideful spirit has taken hold. Rules are a part of everyone’s life.  You must wear a shirt when entering an establishment, your work expects you to be at your desk on time, and you may not surpass the speed limit on the highway.  We are surrounded by rules in every aspect of our lives.  These rules are for your benefit and the benefit of those around you.  There are two character flaws seen in the way the rulers of the synagogue reacted to the healing of the woman in this story. 

Their rules prevented them from feeling compassion for the woman. The rules they had set for themselves exceeded those that were put into place for the Israelites in the Levitical Law.  The law was to not work on the Sabbath day.  They took this law and set for themselves a higher standard above this law that was already in place.  This can be a good precedent because if you step over the boundary you have established for yourself, you will not have broken the Biblical rule since your standard is higher than the rule.  In this instance, however, it caused rulers to blindly follow their standards instead of seeing the need that was right in front of them.  Pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance to see the needs around you and for the wisdom to help those in need.

Secondly, their prideful spirit caused them to look down on those whom they perceived to be “breaking” their standards.  We must guard against looking down on those who do not have the same standards that we hold for ourselves.  Every Christian has much to learn and needs room to grow.  God has given you what you need to serve Him.  What He expects from you may not be what He expects from others.  The rulers of the synagogue looked down on Christ for “breaking” their rule.  They were unable to see past their pride to have the compassion that was needed in this situation.  Does our pride in the standards we have set for ourselves cause us to miss an opportunity to be a blessing to those around us?

Mrs. Christina Renshaw

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