On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing. Luke 13:10-17 (NIV)
Rules are put in place for a reason. They are there to keep us safe. They are there to protect others. They are there to keep the peace. And usually, following the rules is the right thing to do. But there are times, breaking the rule is the better thing to do. Jesus, God in human form, seems to have broken one of the Ten Commandments. The synagogue leader was trying to make Jesus look bad. He was focused on the letter of the law. Jesus knew the intent of the law is to love God and love others (Mark 12:29-31). Jesus broke the rule to show this suffering woman the love of God.
We are surrounded by rules that may be preventing us from following the intent of the law. It seems improper to talk about our beliefs. It is frowned upon when Christians appear to use their beliefs to influence their political opinions. We are called to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16). We are made to stick out, not to blend in. We are here to make a difference, even if we have to break the rules.
God, thank you that you have chosen me to be salt and light in the earth. Show me which rules I am following that are causing me to lose my saltiness or hide my light. Give me the boldness to start breaking the rules in my life that are getting in the way of me fulfilling the purpose you have for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.