Sunday, August 5, 2012

Christ' agenda for special interest groups

Everyone has an agenda these days. I guess that has always been true. Lately in the news special interest groups work to promote their agenda. Not a question of right or wrong. Nope...... the agenda itself is the issue. Words are spun to meet the needs of a party's interest. Words redefined, or attempted, to meet our own needs.

What was Christ' response to special interest groups, and their agendas? All three of the synoptic (similar) gospels demonstrate examples of special interest groups and the agendas they strive to uphold. In contrast, and as affirmation of Him being who He claims to be, Christ had / has a slightly different agenda.

"One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?" But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. And he said to them, "Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?" And they could not reply to these things." -Luke 14:1-6

The legalizers had, in previous encounters with Jesus, accused Him of breaking God's law of how to act, and what we do or do not do, on the Sabbath. If you say this is like telling Col. Sanders how to fry chicken'd be right. But that is the problem; these Pharisees didn't believe Jesus was Lord, Messiah.

Jesus' question / challenge simply proved that they, and we, dumb faith in Christ down to a legalistic maneuver. If there are rules, they exist for our ultimate benefit, though it so often appears not for our short-term benefit.

Good news is... we all have common ground with Christ. While our agenda is about "us". His agenda is, too, about us. Don't make what God intends to be for your benefit into something to try and gain His favor, or morph it into something evil. That is, by definition, blaspheme. You already have His favor .....or He wouldn't bother with benefiting you. He said clearly.... "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." Thanks be to God.... we all belong to Christ' group of special interest.