“And when he [Jesus] was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.” (Matthew 12:9-14)

The Pharisees were part of the religious ruling class. They didn’t teach God’s Word and had an iron grip on the people. Then Jesus came along. He exposed their hypocrisy publicly and often. He told them things like, Ye are of your father the devil (John 8:44), and “…ye are not of God (John 8:47). He told people the truth about God when the Pharisees didn’t. Some of the Pharisees were honest enough to admit that He was come from God, but plenty of the Pharisees hated Him and wanted Him destroyed.

One common accusation against Jesus was that He broke the Sabbath. Old Testament law prohibited working on the Sabbath. They considered healing to be work. When Jesus healed on the Sabbath, He broke Jewish law which proved that He was not of God. Of course, the main purpose of Jesus’ Pharisee enemies was not to preach pure Jewish law but to destroy Jesus. That’s why they asked if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath day, “…THAT THEY MIGHT ACCUSE HIM.” [capitals added]

Jesus replied that if a man had a sheep and it fell into a pit on the Sabbath, wouldn’t he get it out right away? And aren’t people more important than sheep? By the way, if you know any “animal rights” types who think animals are equal to humans, you could show them this passage.

Jesus never committed sin of any kind. 1 Peter 2:22 says Jesus “…did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” Now the penalty for sin is death and hell: “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14). Jesus didn’t owe that penalty—because He’d never sinned. We do owe that penalty because we’ve sinned. Yet He loved us and took our death penalty for us: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus’ death paid our sin-debt completely. That’s why He said, It is finished (John 19:30) before He died. Then He rose again and is alive today! I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen (Revelation 1:18).

As a cop, you know that even law-abiding people don’t keep the law perfectly. You also know that cops don’t enforce the law perfectly. People also don’t keep God’s law perfectly. God didn’t give us the law so we can be saved by keeping it—because we can’t keep it. God gave us the law to show us our sin and our need for Jesus as Saviour: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20). The law shows us our sin and points us to Christ, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24).

You may believe in the God of the Bible and know about Jesus as the Saviour, but do you know for sure that you’ll be in heaven at the end of your life? If you don’t know for sure but you want to, click “Helpful Links” on the main menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown.

Brian Miller 10/3/2017

Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822