You Can't Do That!


Ask the Lord to show you any comfortable, traditional practices you need to let go of --- and then let them go.


Lord, help me to understand Your heart and serve You in a way that is true to who You truly are.


Matthew 12:1-14


Why were the religious people upset?

Imagine a group of young men striding through the fields. They have been walking for days and are hungry, but they don't want to stop for food, and risk being separated from their charismatic young leader. So they pick a few ears of corn and crunch the raw grain as they walk. It is countercultural, because today is the Sabbath and their actions count as harvesting and therefore as work. Then they go into a synagogue, and their leader immediately spots a man with a shriveled hand, and heals it--and that's more work on a Sabbath day!

Jesus is deliberately challenging the Pharisees and all their customs and traditions. Their religious observances sprang from God's original command to keep the Sabbath day holy--but they were putting the letter of the law above the need for mercy and love (7,12). Notice their reactions to Jesus; there is a major power struggle going on (2,14)!

The wisdom of Jesus challenges our traditions and brings us freedom. But sometimes it's easier to follow our comfortable traditional religious practices. What do you think some of yours, and of your church, might be?


Ask the Lord to show you any comfortable, traditional practices you need to let go of. Let them go.


Father, I want no part of following rules that blind me to Your work in the world. Teach me to know Your heart.

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