THE CASE AGAINST CHRIST
Thank you, Holy Spirit, for making the gospel truth for me. Each day, as I study the Bible, I look to you to deepen my understanding of God’s love, my faith in Jesus, and my commitment to living the gospel.
Read LUKE 6:1-11
Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
6 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. 2 Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
3 Jesus answered them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” 5 Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
6 On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. 7 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. 8 But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” So he got up and stood there.
9 Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?”
10 He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored. 11 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law’ (Psalm 119:18).
‘Not every friend request is a friend request. Some are surveillance cameras.’* In Facebook jargon, Jesus had many ‘friends’ but some were really stalkers—the Pharisees and teachers who had ‘come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem’ (5:17). They went to the extent of following Jesus and his disciples to a dinner party in a private home and criticizing their friendships and dietary habits (5:29-30,33). They stalked Jesus out in the grainfields (v 1) and even in the synagogue (v 6). They watched closely, not to learn the truth but to build a case against Jesus (v 7).
Lee Strobel—confirmed atheist and journalist at the Chicago Tribune—set out to make a case against Christ. He interviewed many experts, seeking evidence against Christianity. Two years later, he weighed the evidence and found it so convincing that he became a Christian and wrote The Case for Christ!**
Unlike Strobel, the Pharisees failed to make the shift from skepticism to conviction, ignoring the logic of Jesus’ reasoning (vs 3,4,9) and the compelling evidence of their own eyes (v 10). Although there are no further ‘comments’ on this particular thread, they banded together to build a case against Christ (v 11).
‘Instead of facing the evidence and accepting it, you procrastinate with questions’ (John 3:11, The Message). Pray for people with questions to start embracing God’s answers.
Father, help me to follow Jesus’ example; help me to spend my Sabbaths in ways that please you. Use me to invite others to know and enjoy rest in you.
**Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ (Zondervan, 2016).
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