• Jack Selcher

Jesus and Rule-igion

Updated: Aug 15, 2021

The crowds in Capernaum swarmed around Jesus. Peter’s house was packed. The overflow blocked the doorway. Four men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mattress. The door was blocked. They took the outside stairway to the roof. They ripped a hole in it and lowered the paralyzed man on the mattress into the crowded room. The crowd saw an intruder and a damaged roof. Jesus saw faith. Vital faith is visible. Being a Christian on Monday means taking the message of forgiveness and healing to others. What actions prove your faith is real?

Jesus told the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:5, NIV). The minds of the scribes blew like the flashcubes of yesteryear. They thought only God could forgive sin. They concluded Jesus was blaspheming. Their mistake was not recognizing Jesus was the Son of God with authority to forgive sins. His authority surpassed that of their rule-codes. Are you still under the authority of rule-igion?

Jesus associated with sinners (Mark 2:13-17). That offended the scribes. Levi was a professional leech. He bled taxes from people passing through Capernaum. Most Jews considered him a traitor and the scum of society. But Jesus saw in him the potential for spiritual growth and greatness. Jesus repurposes society’s rejects. He compared Himself to a physician who heals the sick. Learn what the scribes didn’t. Separating yourself from sin doesn’t mean separating yourself from sinners. Who are the hated and “hopeless” in your community? Jesus came to bring them hope.

Jesus’ followers embraced new ways and left old ways behind (Mark 2:18-22). While John’s disciples fasted, Jesus’ disciples didn’t. Jesus explained that the old forms of Judaism couldn’t contain the gospel. He said it was inappropriate to fast at a wedding, put new wine in old wineskins, or patch old cloth with new. Don’t be bound by worthless religious rules. Newness is threatening because it means we must change. But growing spiritually requires us to become something we aren’t yet.

Jesus’ grace tempered rigid rules. His disciples harvested grain on the Sabbath because they were hungry. The Pharisees attacked Jesus because of this Sabbath violation. Jesus said that God designed the Sabbath to benefit people, not straitjacket them.

We see another Sabbath controversy in Mark 3:1-6. Jesus healed a man with a paralyzed hand because it was lawful to do good and to save life on the Sabbath. According to the Pharisees, healing on the Sabbath was permitted only in matters of life and death. How has your Christian faith grown beyond rule-igion’s domination? #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources

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Photo: File:Thou Shalt Not Park.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

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