Topic: Legalism Or Love?
[DCLM Daily Manna 9 August 2019 Daily Devotional by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi]
Text: Luke 6:1-11 (KJV)
1 And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.
2 And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?
3 And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him;
4 How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone?
5 And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
6 And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.
7 And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him.
8 But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth.
9 Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?
10 And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
11 And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.
Key Verse: “And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath day?” (Luke 6:2).
Legalism is described as a philosophical doctrine which focuses on text of written law to the exclusion of its intent. It elevates strict adherence to law over justice, mercy, grace and common sense. Love on the other hand is defined as a feeling of care and mercy towards people or living beings in general.
In our text today, Jesus schooled the Pharisees on what should be the proper attitude to the use of the Sabbath. Two incidents were recorded of how He handled the Sabbath. First, He defended the actions of His disciples who plucked and ate ears of corn on the Sabbath. Second, He healed a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. The Pharisees, moved with legalistic passions, condemned Jesus and His disciples for violating the Sabbath. But He told them that there was nothing wrong about doing good or eating when one is hungry on the Sabbath. The people became enraged at His message and conspired against Him. But the Lord ignored their protest and went ahead to heal the man they never wanted to be healed on the Sabbath.
Sadly today, some Christians can be so blinded by their denominational dogmas or tradition that they find it difficult to show love to others who are not of their fold or help those who are in need. They even kill, maim or engage in other violent acts against those who do not share their convictions under the guise of defending God or fighting His course.
True believers should not fail to do good to other people just because they want to appear sanctimonious. We must exhibit love, mercy and grace in our dealing with others.
Thought For The Day: It is hollow to honour the law without love.
The Bible In One Year: Esther 1–5