It is so easy for us, shockingly easy, to use our authority as Christians to condemn the behaviour of people who threaten our sense of what is right. We use “what is right” (the law) to protect ourselves and our status by putting others down, pushing them out, proving them wrong, and thus maintaining the status quo.
This synagogue leader tried it, but the people weren’t buying it. Jesus pointed out to him a situation where he ignores the law to do what is right, thereby demanding the authority to do the same for a much more significant reason.
Jesus came to us to move us from condemnation by the law into redemption by love. Therefore, we are free to choose: to condemn one another or to love one another. Condemnation is so easy and so painfully destroying. Love is so challenging and so beautifully healing. Thank God we don’t have to do this work alone.
Gracious God, help us to hold our tongues when we are tempted to judge others' behaviour harshly. Help us to see the good and the need in others. Keep us mindful of your love and compassion for each and every one of us. Amen. — SB