By Russ Wilkins
Dir. of Missions, Shiloh Baptist Assoc., Adamsville
Focal Passage: Luke 6:1-11
How do we show that Jesus reigns in our life? “But now faith, hope, and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Why I am starting our focus of the first eleven verses of Luke 6 with a verse from 1 Corinthians 13? That is a fair question so let’s back up and look at those verses from Luke.
Jesus and His disciples are walking through a grain field and the disciples begin to pick some “heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them.” Big deal, right? Maybe you’ve done something similar walking through a soybean field or even picking apples off of a tree. The only problem was that they were doing it on a Sabbath so the “Sabbath police” (Pharisees) were watching and of course they had something to say about it.
What were their motives? They wanted to be good, make sure everyone else was being good in their eyes and make sure others knew that they have messed up if the Pharisees caught them. Jesus answers with a shocking statement, “Have you not even read what David did…”. These are the Pharisees, of course they read about David, but Jesus is suggesting that they are guilty of being ignorant of a simple truth. That truth is that God is more concerned about people’s needs than about rituals.
The Sabbath is about our faith in God, our hope in Jesus and the relationship we have with Him and He has with us in love. Have you ever had one of your children break curfew? When they were late, you had not heard from them and both of those things were out of character for your child, were you more worried about the fact that they broke curfew or about their well-being?
The next few verses have Jesus teaching in the synagogue and a man being there “whose right hand was shriveled.” The scribes and Pharisees were watching Jesus to see if He would heal on the Sabbath. If you knew someone that healed people so often that you expected him to break one of your rules, wouldn’t you be more impressed with the fact that he actually healed people than that he broke a tradition?
If you actually were able to watch one of his miracles up close, what do you think your reaction would be? Jesus set up the situation with questions that should have helped the scribes and Pharisees see that Jesus was demonstrating faith, hope and love. Jesus did no physical labor during the healing; He only spoke and yet it did not fit the box the scribes and Pharisees thought it should fit in, so they reacted.
Their reaction was rage and a plot to decide what to do with Jesus. Jesus spoke the truth; Jesus gave hope to those in need and Jesus loved the people with compassion. We’re living in a time like no other in my lifetime. People, even Christians, react and respond before meditating and praying. I have seen fellow church members and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ attack one another on social media over opposing issues with both using Scripture to back up their case.
To be transparent, I have often wanted to be confrontive on some of these as well but then I realized, without a face to face, one on one conversation, all we would be doing is fueling public fires and not having real, life-changing conversations.
I could not picture having “fruit that remains” but instead, only pictured myself feeling or having them feel like the scribes and Pharisees “filled with rage.” That does not give the impression that Jesus reigns in our life by showing faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is love. We can love without condoning when Jesus reigns in our life.