Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Expose (08/22/13)
- TITLE: Is Healing Work or Grace?
By Retha Groenewald
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The Pharisees were watching Jesus very closely, hoping to catch him red-handed doing something wrong. They asked Jesus a question, a question they thought would trick Jesus into a wrongdoing, but the question had the opposite effect.
The Pharisees asked Jesus if the law permitted working, by healing someone, on a Sabbath. They didn't understand the principle. They were staring at the man-made interpretation, missing the grace and compassion intended. People were only helped on a Sabbath if their lives were in danger. Healing was only done in emergencies.
Jesus knew their thoughts, and he invited the man with the deformed hand to come and stand in front of everyone. When Jesus answered the Pharisees, he exposed them. He asked them whether the law permitted good deeds on a Sabbath, or should one do evil on a Sabbath. Is the Sabbath a day of saving a life or destroying it? Then Jesus asked the man to hold out his hand and his hand was restored.
The Pharisees did not answer Jesus. They left angry, fearful and outraged. Jesus had exposed their evil attitude in front of the crowd; they were more loyal to their religious system, than to God. They were more concerned with their traditions than freeing a man from pain. Their political ambitions drove them to breaking the law by plotting a murder. Instead of catching Jesus red-handed, they became the guilty ones.
Jesus exposed the Pharisees of having more zeal for rules and regulations than for God. They had lost sight of God’s law and their purpose to worship God, bringing the people closer to God. They should have been the first to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. They didn't acknowledge Jesus because they wanted all the glory, power, prestige, and adoration for themselves. The Pharisees weren't prepared to give all that up, relinquishing it to someone else, even the Son of God.
Exposure made them angry and Jesus their enemy. They were looking for ways to turn the people against Jesus. Their ways and methods were focused on how everything affected them. Jesus was popular, he did miracles, and his teachings and actions were with authority. Before Jesus’ arrival, the people looked up to them, they were the authority. The Pharisees were not prepared to submit to God.
Often the Holy Spirit warns a person of a wrongdoing. When you ignore it, and don’t repent, exposure will come. It will happen at a time and place when you least expect it. What do you do then? Do you, like the Pharisees, get angry and become the enemy of Jesus? Alternatively, do you see this as an opportunity to come closer to God by repenting?
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