When Jesus was questioned in the passage below by the Pharisees, they were obviously and deliberately trying to trap him with his own words. This time Jesus gives them a straight and therefore dangerous answer. He knows they are trying to find reasons to condemn him, but he also knows that they are so intent on finding the legal loophole through which they can nail him, that he can just slip away while they are busy framing their argument. He knows that their arguments are in fact all they really care about.
Jesus might as well have answered with the little passage from Proverbs below. Jesus was focused firmly on The Lord for guidance. He wasn’t worried by the misguided opinions of a bunch of quibbling religious pedants.
Matthew 12:9-14 NLT
Then Jesus went over to their synagogue, where he noticed a man with a deformed hand. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?” (They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.) And he answered, “If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you work to pull it out? Of course you would. And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored, just like the other one! Then the Pharisees called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus.
Proverbs 3:21-26 NLT
My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace. They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble. You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.
Religion, theology, liturgy and all the rest of those kinds of things can really cloud the issue. I really hope I can hang on to a bit of common sense when it comes to my faith. I really hope The Lord will continue to help me discern the wood despite all the trees, and keep my feet from getting caught in the traps that lie in my path.
Genesis 35:1-36:43, Matthew 12:1-21, Psalms 15:1-5, Proverbs 3:21-26