God gave humanity His Law, but many who claimed to be staunch defenders of His commandments did not really love Him. “Some of the Pharisees” were very ready to critique Christ. When they observed the companions of Jesus plucking some “heads of grain” and “rubbing them in their hands,” they imagined that such behavior was sinful. They said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?” These men loved their traditions far more than God. They rejected the “Son of Man” who told them plainly that He was “Lord” over Jehovah’s appointed day of rest for Israel.
The controversy continued on another Saturday when the enemies of the Savior were looking for “a reason to accuse Him.” Jesus questioned them about the best way to celebrate God’s holy day. Was it better “to save life or to destroy it?” Then He said to a man with a “withered” appendage, “Stretch out your hand,” and he was healed before their eyes. “They were filled with fury.”
Jesus continued with His mission despite increasing opposition from powerful foes. After a night of prayer, He chose those He would eventually send out as “apostles.” He then “lifted His eyes on His disciples” and taught them about true righteousness. God’s legislation was not a weapon designed to judge others, but the revelation of a “Father” who calls His children to be “merciful.” The only man who ever kept the divine precepts flawlessly instructed those who would follow Him with these powerful words: “Love your enemies,” and “do good to those who hate you.”
Heavenly actions among mankind will only come from lives that have been miraculously renewed by God. “Each tree is known by its own fruit.” The root of the Lord’s good planting must be Jehovah Himself. Jesus came from above in order to be the beginning of a new creation. He is the only solid foundation for anyone who desires a life of sincere holiness.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Our God and King, we will stay near You when men attack us. You know how to answer those who speak accusations against Your friends. Your Son is our holy rest and the Lord of the Sabbath. He restores us with His Word. He chose His disciples and made them apostles of the very best news. Though one was a traitor, his treachery could not stop Your plan. Our Savior has power to heal and to teach. He has brought us a living hope. You have great blessings for all who put their trust in Him. Show us the way of life in the day of temptation. Fill our souls with Your Spirit so that we will love even our enemies. Surely You will bring us out of every trouble. Grant that we would produce something beautiful out of Your gift of a renewed heart. We will build our house on the rock of Christ, for in Him we have kingdom stability.