January 12, 2009

Matthew 12:11,12: Jesus replied, “Is there a person here who, finding one of your lambs fallen into a ravine, wouldn’t, even though it was a Sabbath, pull it out? Surely kindness to people is as legal as kindness to animals!” Then he said to the man, “hold out you hand.” He held it out and it was healed. (The Message Version)
 
There is an old story about a person that went to a hotel needing a room for the night only to be told there were no rooms available. Being really tired and not wishing to look further the person asked, “You mean to tell me if the President was coming here tonight you would have a room for him?” Thinking the person might be an advance worker for the President the clerk replied, “Why certainly, for the President we would find a room.” Triumphantly the customer responded, “Well, I’ve got news for you. The President’s not coming tonight so give me his room.” The point is that we find a way when we want to badly enough. That’s the point Jesus was making to the people in this passage. They were on his case about healing on the Sabbath. His point was that you don’t use rules as an excuse for not doing good or not caring for people. We make excuses in our lives all the time and certainly we can’t do everything. But maybe we look for excuses at times because we just don’t want to do the right thing. I think most of us know what God wants from us in most situations but we might not want to develop the habit of looking at life from God’s perspective. Yet when we feel the need for God we somehow find the time and the way to try and get God’s attention. It is possible to make those times more the norm than the exception. That is, if we don’t simply make excuses. Maybe this week you can get one of your lambs out a ravine.

Don Painter

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