Skip to main content

Breaking the Rules

I am among those who too easily judge others, especially if they break the rules. Matthew 12:1-14 is a classic passage pitting humans against God, rules and laws against mercy and needs. Jesus responds to the Pharisees' protest of the disciples plucking grains to eat on the sabbath by countering with examples of David eating the bread of Presence and the temple priests guiltlessly breaking the sabbath.

"...something greater than the temple is here." God was among them in Christ and they didn't recognize him. He who is "Lord of the sabbath" was greater than the sabbath, greater than the temple, greater than the rules of men.

Verse 7, lying right in the middle of the passage, holds the key to that which should motivate our relationships, that which motivated Christ--mercy! This is further illustrated by Jesus healing on the sabbath.

He just never learned did he? He kept ob
eying his heavenly father despite the religious hierarchy's opposition. Just look at what this brought him--God's pleasure, but via the way of the cross-- just as it does for us. No cross, no crown. Are we willing to take the risk, to break the rules, to please our Lord?


Photo from flickr.

Comments

steve martin said…
Rules are meant for this world. Sometimes we just have to enforce them...for the sake of good order.

Sometimes we can look the other way as long as we are not hurting anyone else in the doing.

But God's mercy and grace are not about this world, but His.

What a day that will be when in His kingdom,when His rule and mercy shall reign upon us mercifully.
interesting thoughts... challenging too!

thanks for your input over at my place...
Ivy said…
Thanks for your input Steve. Hot Cup, thanks for visiting and I enjoy your place very much. Blessings on tomorrow's sermon. Peace.
Pastor Eric said…
Too often we talk a "good game" when it comes to the Gospel, but when it comes to practice, we get stuck in the law. Like Steve said, laws are important to keep order. Laws are a gift from God. But we cannot forget about the Spirit of the law. Sometimes it takes a lot of courage to show grace.
Singing Owl said…
Hi Ivy! Thanks for stopping at my place. I left you a smart-alec comment back. :-)

I love the name of your blog!
Ivy said…
Pr. Eric and Singing Owl, thanks for dropping by. Pr. Eric thank you for your comments. Singing Owl, see you at your place. Blessings.

Popular posts from this blog

If and If and If

This is the sermon I preached on Sunday, 10/1/17 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church and St. Mark Lutheran Church. The scripture text is Philippians 2:1-13

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is one of my favorites. It is full of positive, uplifting theology, like “RejoiceintheLordalways; again I will say, Rejoice (Phil. 4:4 ). It’s a feel-good kind of letter. Today’s passage from Philippians is chock full of great stuff and I could get at least 10 sermons out of

I'm Back & Giving Thanks

Sunday, 9/17, was my first Sunday back in the pulpit after 7 months. I am not completely healed from February's back surgery, but am mostly there. The doctor is letting me work only part time until our next visit. This is the sermon from Sunday, 9/17, preached at St. Timothy Lutheran Church and St. Mark Lutheran Church.  based on Psalm 103 1:-13.
When I read today’s lessons, I couldn’t take my eyes of of Psalm 103. This psalm is an individual psalm of one who was struggling in a desperate situation, who called out to God and God delivered him.This is my story too.
As most of you know, I had back surgery in Feb. and I too, received God’s deliverance. Following the back surgery, I contracted an Ecoli infection that nearly killed me. I am here today to declare with the psalmist: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits…”
The odd thing about this psalm is that it isn’t a prayer. It is not ad…

Flying Rebukes

This is the sermon I preached on Sunday, 2/25/18 at St. Timothy. Lutheran Church. The text was Mark 8:31-38. 


Immediately before today’s gospel reading, Jesus had asked his disciples who people say that he is. This is where the light went on for Peter and he made the confession, “You are the Messiah” (Mark 8:29). Peter certainly gave the right answer and was likely thinking of the attributes given to whoever would be the Messiah. The Messiah, people thought, would deliver them from the crushing rule of the Romans. The Messiah would fight their enemies. Basically, the Messiah was a strong king-like figure.
But, now Jesus fleshes out for Peter and others what that is going to look like. They were completely unprepared for the reality.
“Jesus began to teach them” (v. 31). Hadn’t he been teaching the disciples all along? Maybe, but this was different. This wasn’t teaching about miracles and healing. This is the turning point in Mark’s gospel, marking a new beginning.
“Jesus began to teach the…