The Love and Wisdom of Jesus

On an occasion in which Jesus taught in the synagogue on the Sabbath, he saw a woman who was disabled for 18 years. She was crippled to the extent that she could not stand up straight. When he saw her, he healed her by laying hands upon her for which she glorified God. However the leader of the synagogue objected, stating that there were six days in which they could come and be healed, but not the Sabbath. His words reflected an attempt to apply the commandment not to work on the Sabbath, but to keep it a day of rest. However, Jesus recognized the hypocrisy of his application. Each day, including the Sabbath, the leader of the synagogue would untie his ox and his donkey from their stalls and lead them to water. Jesus pointed out that what he had done for the woman was similar to what leader did each Sabbath for his animals. Ironically, the leader treated his animals with more love and compassion than he had for the crippled woman. She also needed to be set free on the Sabbath. In his response Jesus revealed that he applied the law of compassion and love to each situation, rather than trying to apply a rule of law to the situation. In no way did Jesus disregard or disobey the law of Moses, but he revealed that the laws of love and compassion were higher ones. This was another example of his wisdom and genius. Even though he authored the rules written down in the Old Testament, he applied them through the lens of love and compassion. While not breaking those laws, he revealed their fulfillment. In order for us to live in a similar manner, we need Jesus’ wisdom, rather than attempting to use human wisdom like the synagogue leader. The apostle Paul summarized Jesus’ action and teaching in 1 Corinthians 13, where he taught that any type of religious or spiritual activity that neglects love is worthless. As we follow Jesus, we reveal our connection to him as we demonstrate love and compassion for those we encounter.

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