Rule Keeping & Heart Freeing / Luke 13:10-17; 14:1-6 NIV
#1 - What happened? ______________________ .
“On the Sabbath… [Jesus] put his hands on her and immediately she straightened up and praised God.”Luke 13:10a, 13 NIV
“One Sabbath… taking hold of the man, [Jesus] healed him and sent him away.” Luke 14:1a, 4 NIV
#2 - What’s the big deal? _____________________ .
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work.”Exodus 20:8-10a NIV
Rabbinical tradition listed _________ categories of work to be avoided. Field work like sowing, plowing, threshing, even baking. Making curtains of material or leather - spinning, cleaning, combing, sewing, even tying a knot. Writing, erasing, building. Even kindling a fire or putting it out. Why?
Rationale: to avoid ________________ to breaking God’s commandment.
We tend to be critical of such rules, but consider how seriously these people took God’s commandments! They set boundaries up so that they would not violate God’s commands. They should be admired for this and not disparaged. So why did Jesus break this rule?
4 Misunderstandings About The Sabbath:
A. Not a ________________ .
B. Not merely a ___________ but also a __________ .
C. Purpose is to _____________ and to ____________ .
D. Jesus is the __________________________ .
#3 - Three Applications To Consider:
1st - _____________ is a good idea for me!
Let’s not dismiss the positive side of making rules. Rules should not be designed to keep people from enjoying freedom. Good rules do just the opposite. They provide freedom for people to the extent of the rules. Think of rules as boundaries designed to keep you safely away from that which could hurt you. God gives us His commandments because He loves us and wants to protect us. We establish boundaries to make sure we stay on the safe side of the command.
Paul advices each of us to think through what is best for us based on our actions..l
“Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others.” Galatians 6:4 GW
Here’s where the challenge comes in - what happens when my rules for my behavior conflicts with your rules for your behavior?
2nd - _________________ is a bad idea for me and them!
Rules are designed to serve people, not the other way around. There are times when the best of rules need to be adjusted or changed, when they no longer serve their purpose of protection. Jesus talks about this very thing in both examples of Sabbath healings.
“Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water?”Luke 13:15 NIV (Also Luke 14:5)
One would break a rule to rescue an animal. Why wouldn’t we do the same thing to save a person?
Rules gain a life and priority all their own and we constantly must balance out when it’s better to ignore a rule than it is to follow a rule.
Prioritizing people over rules is a sign of maturity.
Prioritizing people over rules is a sign of faith.
Prioritizing people over rules is a sign of joy.
Rules are a good thing. Sometimes choosing people over rules is the better thing.
3rd - _______________ is a good idea for me and them!
Within our own congregation, we have different people with different boundary-setting requirements for themselves…
“But be careful that your freedom does not cause those who are weak in faith to fall into sin.” 1 Corinthians 8:9 NCV
We respect and honor those boundaries. We limit our own freedoms from boundaries to not cause someone else to fall into a sinful, harmful behavior. As we come to know and love one another more, we respect one anothers’ boundaries. We grow to love one another and desire to support one another. When we know someone struggles with a particular issue in their life, we pray for them, we listen to them, we help them, and we even limit our own freedoms so as to not risk leading someone else into sinful behavior.
This morning we've seen the pattern for rule keeping and heart freeing. Ultimately how do we know when we should err on the side of rule keeping or heart freeing?
Our last best piece of advice from the Apostle Paul:
“The law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”Romans 8:2 CEB