Weekly Devotional – Wednesday, February 23, 2022
‘Then Jesus said to the religious leaders, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”’ (Mark 2:23-24, NLT)
The religious leaders were so sure they were right—their understanding of the proper way to honour the Sabbath was correct—that they dismissed Jesus’ miracles performed on the Sabbath out of hand. Rather than seeing the evidence that the miracles provided—that standing before them was the Messiah, God himself—they worked overtime in their attempts to discredit Jesus and even made plans to silence him…once and for all. They were willfully blind. They were adamant; they could not possibly be wrong. Their traditions were time tested, handed down by Moses himself. This young upstart, who chose to work on the Sabbath, was dishonouring the Law, God and their very way of life! And who did he think he was to try to correct them? He had to be stopped.
Looking from our historical perspective, it is hard not to shake our heads and wonder, “How could they have been so blind?” But the fact of the matter is that none of us likes to be told we’re wrong. And while some have a degree of graciousness when confronted with errors, many become defensive, “Who are you to tell me that I’m wrong?” But what if our refusing to consider the possibility that we are mistaken, prevents us from experiencing some truth that God has for us? The Pharisees missed the Messiah—the very one they had been waiting for; their pride and their security in their traditions blinded them.
There is a reason that God commends those who are humble—humility gives us permission to admit our failures; pride rejects all appearances of ‘weakness.’ None of us is perfect. We won’t always get it right. How much better to remain honest with ourselves, accept correction when it is needed and make necessary course corrections, rather than adamantly taking a path that takes us off course. Pray that God will help you accept that you are not always right. Ask him to send people your way who can help you better understand what is truth. Don’t be like the religious leaders who rejected Jesus out of hand…and missed seeing the very One they were looking for.
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!