If you are fortunate enough to have children, there is a good chance you have heard questions like, “Why do I have to go to bed now?” It seems we are born with a bent to go against the rules. Yet most would agree that life without rules would get pretty complicated.
• A sporting event without sidelines or umpires
• An office without a policy and procedure manual
• A business with no hours
We understand the need for rules to maintain order. But sometimes rules can get in the way.
And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your sickness.” And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again and began glorifying God. But the synagogue official, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, “There are six days in which work should be done; so come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead him away to water him? “And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?” As He said this, all His opponents were being humiliated; and the entire crowd was rejoicing over all the glorious things being done by Him.
Jewish society had a list of rules about the Sabbath. I am sure the woman in these verses was fired up that Jesus came to the synagogue that day. But the synagogue official was so focused on rules he missed the miracle!
My good friend Jerry Price (co-author of Beyond Betrayal and Sandusky Bay) has taught me many things. One that I think about often is the difference between intent and impact. Some rules may have been created with good intentions, but the impact may not be good. This does not mean we don’t have to obey those in authority. If rules are in effect we need to follow them. But we have the right to ask why.
And we need to ask ourselves if we have made rules with good intent that have not had good impact.