As I read today’s study, I wrote this down: Jesus came to break the rules.
The study today talked about the various ways in which Jesus used the Tanach when He was on earth. I suppose Blackaby’s intended point was to get me to realize that Jesus knew scripture, used it and therefore I should too.
But that really isn’t what I got out of it. I already know that and try to use it as much as possible. His opening question was “What Scriptures are being used by God in your life right now?” My answer was:
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley,ï»¿ I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
At least that is what I’m striving for. Blackaby listed a bunch of ways that he studies the Bible, things that work for him. That’s great, but most of us are not full time pastors and cannot spend 2-3 hours a day studying. And that’s okay. That’s good, I think. Perhaps pastors should spend more time with people, applying God’s love.
I think people sometimes feel guilty because they read about people like Blackaby spending hours reading and meditating over God’s word. No need. Jesus came to break the rules of religion. The religious leaders of His day had so corrupted His Word that it wasn’t even recognizable to Him.
I recall when they tried to “trap” Him into healing a man on the Sabbath and He was incredulous:
Jesus Heals on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:9-13)
Then Jesus went over to their synagogue, where he noticed a man with a deformed hand. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?” (They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.)
And he answered, “If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you work to pull it out? Of course you would. And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.”
Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored, just like the other one!
Do I need to read the Bible more? Maybe, but for sure I need to make certain that when I read, I’m focused and prepared. And that I have made it possible to read without distractions. And no, I cannot do that for hours on end. And that’s okay.
So, did I get his point today? Yeah, I think so, just not the way he intended me to.