We all have our limitations where we run out of energy or lose our abilities to function. We are human. However, we also all have the ability to limit ourselves unnecessarily. When we limit ourselves we are falling short of our potential and our purpose. Our text today teaches us about the shortfalls of self-limiting:
Jesus went into the synagogue again (on another Sabbath) and noticed a man with a deformed (right) hand (while He was teaching). Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath. (The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?” (They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.) And he answered, “If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you work to pull it out? Of course you would. And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep!) Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.” Mark 3:1-4 (with additions from Matthew 12 and Luke 6 in Parenthesis)
Jesus has taught these folks that they were interpreting the law incorrectly but they have not agreed with Him. He know brings a real 'flesh and blood' example to try and bring the point home. According to the Oral Tradition it would be illegal to heal a man on the Sabbath unless he was in mortal danger. Jesus teaches that the Oral Tradition is actually a self-limiting law that prevents a person from doing good.
Imagine this...choosing not to do good and using as an excuse that our God won't let us...that doesn't line up well with God's heart that you read about through-out the Scriptures. The God we worship and follow is a God that is mighty and over all...He is also a God of overpowering love for His creation (that's us). Jesus is teaching these folks (and us) that as we walk through life we shouldn't limit our actions by tradition but we should live by the limitless law of love. He illustrates this with the little statement about the sheep that fell into the well. Love pulls the sheep out. Love rescues.
Do your actions represent the limitations of this life or do they show the limitless law of love at work in your heart and mind. "What does that look like?" you say? Here is a great picture:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT)
Love loud today!