Thursday, October 20, 2016

Can You Rest From Electronics?

Luke 13

14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” 15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”

The Pharisees are a great example of leaders who claim to follow the Law, but have ended up making laws of their own for their own benefit. They are furious with Jesus for healing a woman on the Sabbath, who had suffered for 18 years. But in the meantime, they untie their own animals to take them for a drink, and similarly break the Sabbath laws. Jesus is pointing out the absurdity of how we as humans twist the law and the scriptures for own benefit. That is why the Law can never save us. The Law only points out of our sin and leads us to Christ, the only one who fulfills the Law.

In the case of the Sabbath, God had created a day to rest from our labor to worship him. The underlying reason for the Sabbath is to keep us from worshipping work and what we can create with our own hands. On the Sabbath we take a break from creating and worship the One who created us. Therefore, when the Pharisees tweaked the Laws to profit themselves, they revealed their true heart condition. This is especially true when you see them judging Jesus for healing a woman who had suffered for 18 years. Jesus "re-created" this woman and restored her. In the same way the Sabbath restores us through true rest. Jesus in another gospel says, "the Sabbath is made for man, not man made for the Sabbath."

Do you take a weekly Sabbath? It doesn't necessarily have to be Sunday, but if you normally worship on Sundays it might make sense. I struggle with taking a day of rest, which shows I have on overestimation of myself in terms of work. You can also take a Sabbath from certain activities to give you rest. The obvious one is to unplug our electronics. It is hard to rest when you have your electronics on, because people have 24/7 access to you. And if you are like me when you think you have an important email or voice message, I can't rest until I return it.

We need to be wary of the Pharisee in all of us. It is easy to either get around the rules or twist them to benefit us and not others. Try "unplugging" it may help.

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