Romans 3.8 ‚ÄúWhy not say‚Äîas we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say‚Äî‚ÄúLet us do evil that good may result‚Äù? Their condemnation is deserved.‚Äù
(Rom 3:8 NIV)
‚ÄúOr haven‚Äôt you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent?‚Äù
(Matt 12:5 NIV)
Desecrate ‚Äì 1014 ‚Äì to profane, defile, make irreligious, treat sacrilegiously
Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; whoever does any work on that day must be cut off from his people.
(Ex 31:14 NIV)
God gave the gift of the Holy and Perfect Law so that we would have boundaries, control, and if we weren‚Äôt slaves to sin trying to do Law, it would have worked, but since we are slaves to sin, the Law just showed the darkness in our hearts. On the surface it looks like a contradiction ~ Don‚Äôt work on the Sabbath/Levites, here is all the work you do on the Sabbath. In any worldly institution, if we had such contradictions we would be frustrated and quit or start a revolution.
But where do we CONSTANTLY allow such a contradiction and situational rule code?
IN RELATIONSHIPS WITH THOSE WE LOVE AND ARE CLOSEST TO!
Cindy can tell me an absolute rule to follow ~ never leave the water tank while you fill it from the sink ~ but then the very next day, as I am filling the water tank, she says, ‚ÄúGrace is trying to go out the door, and my hands are covered in chicken guts, go get her!‚Äù
How absurd it would be for me to say, ‚ÄúBut wait, dear, you said don‚Äôt leave the water tank!‚Äù how crazy! I would leave in an instant to do something MORE IMPORTANT! >>>for the people of Israel, it was more important to do no work on the Sabbath, but the priests‚Äô work is MORE IMPORTANT, so it MUST be done.
Fast Forward to Jesus. His work is more important. The point of HIS LIFE ‚Äì HELLO ‚Äì was mercy and TRUE sacrifice. So He tells the Priests ‚Äì I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God more than burnt offerings. Just like Hezekiah broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been BURNING INCENSE (!) to it. (it was called Nehushtan.) -2 Kings 18.4
Jesus broke their Sabbath into pieces. They were worshipping the Sabbath like it was God.
So now where are we today? Christians have a reputation of being do-gooders, and finger pointers. It would be silly for us to think we‚Äôre different than the Pharisees because we REALLY ARE GOOD PEOPLE and they just acted like they were. I think a lot of them really did think they were doing what was right. What if only the authorities among them were corrupted?
What‚Äôs up? We aren‚Äôt accused of promoting sin, we aren‚Äôt accused of being drunks and gluttons like Jesus was. And what I think is the worst, we are not accused of eating with sinners.
I was at a party recently, and there were religious guys there that prayed over the microphone, and distinguished members of the community, and wise and respected old women who were great matriarchs, but I wonder if the people that Jesus would have been most likely to befriend were the two dancing girls. The two girls dancing around for money and getting groped would be totally looked down upon by everyone I know. Who would ever see them as human instead of a product to be rented? That‚Äôs exactly what they were, and I think Jesus would have seen through their lives like He did with the Samaritan woman, like He did with Mary Magdelene, like He did with so many of us.
Is the church ready to quit wasting time on the hard hearted religious folks that are ok with not being accused of being drunks or friends of evildoers and reach out to the dancing girls? Are we ready to break some rules (important to us) for the sake of something bigger (important to God?)