We hear today that the supposed reason that many of the Jewish leaders supported the persecution of Jesus was that he broke the Sabbath Laws by healing people on the Sabbath! This seems to me a very narrow-minded interpretation of the Sabbath Law of rest. Perhaps it indicates something deeper about the persecution of Jesus – perhaps the leaders were ‘grasping at straws’ so to speak when coming up with a reason as to why to reject Jesus and the Gospel he proclaimed?

 

It seems to me that there must be a modicum of truth in this analysis as to persecute someone for working miraculous healings on the Sabbath is a ridiculous idea! Any parent will not think twice about saving their child from a treacherous situation. They will not even consider what day of the week it is before they act! Similarly, if I knew, and Jesus certainly knew he had the power to heal, I could heal a person from the lameness, deafness, blindness …, I have no doubt I would do so and what day of the week it happened to be would not even enter into my thoughts, not even for the slightest of considerations!

 

It seems to me that the Jewish leaders were struggling to find a reason to reject Jesus and all that he stood for and this was the only fault they could find. It is a warning to us all that no matter how we may feel about a situation, when we are ‘grasping at straws’ top find a reason for us to do something then the warning bells should be ringing, especially if the situation we are considering is serious. Persecution of a person that leads to his death certainly qualifies as a serious situation.

 

As we seek to follow Christ as his disciples; as we seek to be active members in our faith communities, let us pray that we will allow common sense to prevail in our discernment of situations and issues such that we are never stretching credulity to justify our actions.

 

What are the grounds I use to discern the rightness and wrongness of my actions?

 

Lord Jesus, help me to keep the processes of discernment as simple as they can be in my life so that they will be more easily understood by others if at all possible.