Those rules of life of Jesus
Reading: Luke 13:10-17
There are many rules and laws in our world.
Most of them are good and serve the common good of our society.
But some of them are bad.
So they needed to be changed for the common good of our society.
You know, when a nation has bad rules and laws, they could almost imprison their civilians.
So we pray and wait for them to change their laws.
But anyway, we want good rules and laws.
And we pay attention to those good rules and laws, because it will help us.
For example, Billy Graham and his team made their rules.
When they made their rules, they asked this question:
“If Satan wants to destroy our ministry, how would he try to do that?”
Then they made a long list.
Then they tried to protect their ministry.
One well-known example is this:
“Billy Graham would never be alone with a woman who was not his wife, not in a car, an elevator, or a meal.”
They really follow this rule.
You know Billy Graham was very well known.
So if he was bombarded with gossips and rumors, they might have a very difficult time spreading the message of Jesus the Christ.
So for God and for their ministry, they wanted to be free from any potential rumor of scandals.
It turned out that this rule somehow helped Billy Graham.
So he never had any rumors of scandals or any false accusation in terms of relationship.
He followed this rule to preach the gospel.
I also hear that some pastors made a rule for their life.
That is, they try to spend five hours of prayer per day.
During this hours, they just spend time with God.
I read somewhere that Pastor Rick Warren, the pastor of Saddleback Church made a rule:
When a new member joins this church, they need to sign a covenant that says that they would not avoid gossip and maintain a godly lifestyle and so on.
If someone does not fulfill this membership covenant, they remove their names from their membership.
We may also make some rules for our church, asking this question:
If Satan wants to destroy our church, how would he try to do that?
If Satan wants to disempower our church, what kinds of ideas would he provide?
We know that Satan wouldn’t want us to do God’s will.
Satan doesn't want us to pray.
Satan doesn't want us to have faith.
Satan is the father of all lies.
So Satan may want us to lie and spread false gossip and so on.
So we may pray to have faith and to do God’s will.
We pray that God would protect our mouths.
Anyway thinking about our church, we may make some rules to protect our church.
We may also ask ourselves:
If Satan wants to destroy my life, how he would try to do that?
Satan may try to attack mentally, physically or spiritually.
So we may pray believing that God is stronger to protect us.
We may pray saying: “lead us not into temptation but deliver from evils.”
We may also make some rules to protect our life.
Jesus also had many rules.
Let’s think about his rules, habits or tradition.
One of his rules is to give people opportunities to serve God.
So from the start Jesus was giving his students opportunities to help out his ministry.
Jesus was raising his students to do his ministry.
For example, in his early ministry, Jesus didn’t baptize people but asked his students to baptize people for Jesus.
Because they could do that.
From the start, Jesus uses his church to train his people and help his people to train new people.
Jesus also has another habit.
Jesus visited many Jewish synagogues on the Sabbath in his days.
It was his custom to visit various Jewish synagogues.
There he read and taught God’s words.
Jesus has another rule:
Jesus forgives people’s sins.
Jesus spoke to people:
“Your sins are forgiven.”
Or “I do not condemn you.
Go and sin no more.”
Some religious people didn’t like this at all.
But Jesus continually says:
“Your sin are forgiven.”
Jesus was freeing people from their feelings of guilt, fear and anger which could make them sick again, then they have a good health in the faith of Jesus Christ.
His another rule is to heal people on any day of the week.
Jesus healed people continually.
Jesus might have gotten tired after healing so many people.
But he continued to help people to get well.
Jesus also helps his students to stay healthy.
Jesus healed them inside and out, mentally and physically.
Jesus kept them from getting sick.
Jesus also believes that his disciples could heal too.
So Jesus gives them power to do so.
Jesus said to them:
“Go and say to people, ‘the kingdom of God is at hand.’
Then heal people.”
They have observed how Jesus practices his power.
Then when Jesus gave them power to do his ministry, they did what he did.
When we observe how Jesus is doing his ministry, we may be able to do what he does when Jesus gives his power to us.
So we read the four gospels of Jesus.
We understand, believe and follow Jesus and do what Jesus is doing.
Jesus has another rule.
Jesus wants his people to think good thoughts.
Jesus help them to think God’s good thoughts of faith.
Jesus guides them to think wonderful thoughts of faith.
Jesus also has another important rule.
Jesus asks his disciples to love one another just like he loves them.
Jesus asks his disciples to follow his examples.
Jesus expects that they do what he is doing.
Jesus was also against some bad rules.
Jesus challenged some of those rule that Jewish religious people kept.
Jesus said that those were not in line with God’s words.
Those were nullifying and ignoring God’s words.
Then Jesus and his Jewish students didn’t follow those Jewish tradition.
For example, Jesus healed people on the Sabbath.
Some jewish people thought Jesus was breaking the Sabbath, because he was working, that is, healing people.
They understood that Sabbath meant no working.
So they thought in order to obey God, they needed to stop Jesus from healing people on the Sabbath.
But Jesus continually healed people on the Sabbath.
Jesus wanted them to understand God who is full of grace and compassion and wants to heal people and frees them.
But they didn’t understand.
But Jesus would not back down and heal people only on other days.
Then today Jesus got another chance, when a woman entered their synagogue on the Sabbath.
She had been crippled for eighteen years.
She was bent over and could not straighten up.
This crippled lady entered the synagogue while Jesus was teaching.
When Jesus saw the lady, Jesus understood her situation that all the medical facilities that could not heal her.
Jesus called her forward and said to her:
“Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.”
Jesus put his hands on her.
Immediately she straightened up and praised God.
Jesus wanted to teach this on the Sabbath:
God loved her and loved to free her.
So Jesus heals her on the Sabbath, or on the Lord’s day.
But the synagogue leader spoke out and said something like this:
“There are six days for work.
Come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath....
Jesus, you should not work on the Sabbath.
You heal people on some other days.”
Those who religious people didn't understand.
So they gave Jesus a lot of troubles.
This synagogue leader was upset because probably his religious authority taught him to keep the Sabbath like that.
So this man didn't want Jesus to start his healing ministry in his synagogue on the Sabbath.
He tried to forbid Jesus to heal in the middle of the Sabbath service.
He thought he was doing right before God.
Even after seeing this healing, he could not understand God.
But God has a very different understanding about the Sabbath.
So God understands Jesus.
Jesus understands God.
In fact, Jesus is God whom they think they serve.
But those religious authority continually challenged Jesus.
And Jesus continually heal people on the Sabbath.
Jesus did not lie or pretend that he agreed with them.
They could not agree with each other.
When those people said something like this to Jesus:
“On the Sabbath you're not supposed to heal people.
You're supposed to rest.”
Jesus said something like to them:
“You sound very strange.
You sound irrational.
You don’t understand God.
In fact, you are hypocrites who only pretend to love God!
On the Sabbath you untie your ox or donkey and lead it out to give water.
Or in order to save your ox and donkey, you can break the Sabbath.
So then let me put it this way:
Just like you violate Sabbath for your donkey, God would break his Sabbath to heal this lady, because as for God this lady is more valuable than 1000 donkeys.
She is a daughter of Abraham.
Satan has kept her bound for eighteen years.
Why should not God set her free on his Sabbath day?
Can you understand God?
God is love.
God would want this lady to be healed on any day.
Do you understand that?”
Jesus understood they would not understand God.
They would not believe in Jesus whom God sent.
They would rather kill Jesus, thinking Jesus created problems.
They would rather get rid of Jesus.
So they talked with Roman Government officials in order to kill him.
Because they didn’t understand God, they were against Jesus and condemned Jesus.
These people would also kill the students of Jesus, who serve God.
They would persecute his students.
They didn’t understand God.
So they were so upset with his students as well.
But God sent Jesus into the world.
And Jesus sent his students into the world.
If they understand God, they could do what God wants.
You see those who do not understand God, could not follow Jesus.
How could they serve God when they don’t understand God?
So the more they tried to serve God, the more they made God mad.
We cannot expect anything from those who don’t understand God.
So if we don’t understand God but are energetic, we may be like those religious people who did nasty things, thinking that they served God.
But because Jesus died in order to show the world that God is love and compassion, some people question their wrong traditions.
They realized that their tradition does not help them to serve God.
Their tradition does not help them to obey God.
When they understand God who is love and compassion, they may be able to live like Jesus.
When they understand, they may listen to Jesus who says something like this:
“I am the Lord of the Sabbath. (Luke 6: 5)
I am the authority of the Sabbath.
I create the Sabbath.
I own the Sabbath.
And I use the Sabbath for people.
So listen to me on the Sabbath.
And let me heal people on the Sabbath.”
God is love and compassion.
So Jesus want to free us from wrong traditions.
Then Jesus wants to teach good tradition according to God’s will.
When we understand God, we may remove wrong tradition and only keep good tradition.
When we understand God, we may make rules that Jesus agree.
When we understand God, we may know how to practice our faith.
Then we can live with God and do a greater good with God.
May Jesus help us to understand the mind of God.
May Jesus let us know how we should live our lives.
May we allow Jesus to do more healing ministry here.
We may allow Jesus to continually do good here.
We may allow God to do wonderful things in our days.
Jesus, thank you for all the good rules and laws.
Thank you for healing us.
Help us to heal people in your name.
Help us to understand God whom we want to serve.
Help us to have holy thoughts and tradition that will build us up.
In Jesus name, we pray.