Thursday, May 17
Luke 13:14-15, “But the leader in charge of the synagogue was indignant that Jesus had healed her on the Sabbath day … Jesus replied, ‘You hypocrites! Each of you works on the Sabbath day! Don’t you untie your ox or your donkey from its stall on the Sabbath and lead it out for water? This dear woman, a daughter of Abraham, has been held in bondage by Satan for eighteen years. Isn’t it right that she be released, even on the Sabbath?’”
“It’s not about rules, it’s about a relationship.”
In our verse today, Jesus calls out the religious leaders of the day for being more concerned with looking spiritual than actually loving God and people. Their hypocrisy was on full display and Jesus was not afraid to express his disgust.
Most religions are based on a set of rules to follow. People often cling to these rules because they think it’s the key to being close to God. But God has set Christianity apart because it’s not about rules, it’s about a relationship with Jesus.
Jesus cared more about connecting with and healing the woman than he did about following the rules. In the same way, God doesn’t care about how many boxes you have checked on your religious to-do list, he cares about YOU and the condition of your heart.
Does God provide guidelines and boundaries for us? Yes! But we don’t follow the rules SO he will love us, we follow the rules BECAUSE he loves us and wants the best for us. The relationship comes first and brings the free, abundant life God promises.
Like any relationship, your relationship with God takes time and communication. We don’t pray and read our Bibles so we can please him, we do these things because we love him and want to connect with him. Keep this mindset as you spend time with him and see how your relationship with him grows.
Dear God, thank you for your never-ending, unconditional love. Please help me be authentic in my faith and give me a thirst for a relationship with you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.