January 17, 2020

You're Missing the Point! 

Luke 6:1–16

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Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

On a Sabbath,1 while he was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands. But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?” And Jesus answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those with him?” And he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

A Man with a Withered Hand

On another Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse him. But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” And he rose and stood there. And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” 10 And after looking around at them all he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored. 11 But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

The Twelve Apostles

12 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: 14 Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15 and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.


[1] 6:1 Some manuscripts On the second first Sabbath (that is, on the second Sabbath after the first)

You're Missing the Point! 

Key Verse | Luke 6:9-11

And Jesus said to them, "I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?" And after looking around at them all he said to him, "Stretch out your hand." And he did so, and his hand was restored. But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

Bio | Georgia Kiriakos

A little bit about me: 
Tomorrow is my birthday! 
I love this time of year because it's a time to reflect/refocus on what's important.
I get to serve in Women's Bible Study and The Porch North
I was once walking in my own understanding of how I thought life should be, following rules and not giving consideration to how God wanted to be a part of my daily life. Thankfully, because of God's grace, astounding patience, and pursuit of me over the years, my life has been transformed; I've found that nothing truly satisfies outside of life with Him.

Central Truth

We can watch Jesus closely, even believing He will act, but still have hearts that are far from Him.

Devotional | Luke 6:1–16

Have you ever done anything with a false motive? We see this all the time. Someone goes along with the crowd for the wrong reasons; an artist starts off writing music with passion and meaning, but loses a heart for it...

Have you ever done anything with a false motive? We see this all the time. Someone goes along with the crowd for the wrong reasons; an artist starts off writing music with passion and meaning, but loses a heart for it and begins to perform for fame and money.

In Luke, we see this happening with the religious leaders (Pharisees). They lost the true meaning behind God's commands, and over time they added hundreds of man-made rules detailing specific actions one had to take. They were outraged with Jesus for seemingly ignoring God's laws, particularly the "rules" of the Sabbath. The Sabbath was a command given for the purpose of taking a break from work, spending time with God and others, and being reminded of one's true dependence on God. By adding rules, the Pharisees created a system that burdened God's people. A day of rest became an exhausting feat of trying to follow hundreds of ridiculously petty rules. If these man-made rules were broken, it was considered sin!

God's commands were never meant to be burdensome, but to draw us near to Him. In Luke 6:9, Jesus illustrates that there's never a wrong time to have love for others or meet a human need. In Luke 6:5, Jesus declares He is the One who has the authority to decide what is considered sin. The Pharisees just couldn't accept this truth; their hearts were hardened and calloused.

But God cares about His truth. Jesus didn't go into the synagogue that day to abolish or overturn the Sabbath, but to remind them of the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37). To truly follow Jesus means that obedience starts from the inside first. The Lord says in Hosea 6:6 (NLT), "I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings."

God knows that if we only follow rules blindly, we will walk away from Him and completely miss the love He desires to show us. He wants us to have so much more than just rules to follow! He wants a relationship with us (Psalm 51:17).

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Discussion Questions

1. We all are capable of seeing Jesus, hearing the gospel, memorizing Scripture, and believing who God is, but having no true heart for Him or missing the point in His Word. Read Psalm 139:23-24 as your own personal prayer and ask the Lord to give you a humble heart of repentance.

2. The Pharisees defined sin according to their own ideas. In what ways do you have a tendency to do this? Proverbs 21:2 says, "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart." Who or what is your ultimate authority? Is it God, man-made rules, your own desires, pleasing others, or something else?

3. When Jesus exposed their sin, the Pharisees' reaction was to blame Him, wanting Him to have a consequence. When we refuse to repent and humble our hearts, the Holy Spirit can work through others to expose sin in our souls, which often offends us and angers us toward the person who exposed us. Do you get offended when others point out the truth to you and judge them in return? Ask God to soften your heart and to give you His perspective.

4. Do you set aside time (like a Sabbath) to refocus your heart and mind on God's goodness and what Jesus has done for you? What is one step you can take to cultivate a deeper relationship with the Lord?

12 Comments available

Linda Green 7 months ago

Thanks, Georgia, for helping me look at these verses with fresh eyes.

When Jesus said He is Lord of the Sabbath, is seems He is saying He is the Lord of rest. So thankful I can rest in Him.

Patricia Simmons 7 months ago

Love this so much Georgia. Your discussion questions cut me to my core which is what I love about you…you go deep and get to the heart of spiritual things quickly! Question 2 is so true…we are so quick see the sin in others and when we do recognize our own sin, we rationalize it as being no big deal. I am so grateful to have sweet sisters in The Lord like yourself who are willing to hold me accountable. Thank you for your loving and giving heart that reflects our Savior to many.

Burlon Leffall III 7 months ago

Thank you, Georgia; God bless!

I love how Jesus handles all this SURVEILLANCE. It is frustrating to discover that I am being followed and watched by theft prevention while shopping. Last time that happened, I was shopping for a mission trip. Shock. Embarrassment. Pride. Hurt. Anger. Sadness. So next time I feel a swell of indignance for being watched for no reason that is just, I will remember Jesus. Maybe it’s a gospel layup: “Since you are determined to follow me for no good reason, may I tell you about the One that I am following because of all the sin I’ve actually done?”

Jesus did not deserve unfair treatment, to be accused, or to be watched for potential “crimes”. And He was treated the most unfairly out of everyone, ever. His patience and heart for ultimate reconciliation encourages me. He is the Son of Man.

Lynnette Morton 7 months ago

Georgia, thank you for taking us again to the very heart of God. His love in you is always such sweet encouragement and truth.

Trey Collins 7 months ago

Gmorning Georgia, great devo! I appreciate all the cross references with the central theme of relationship over rules.

This reminds me of Revelations 2 where God is addressing the Church of Ephesus. He says He sees their deeds, how they hate evil, have theologically tested their leaders and flock, and persevered hardships for His name. What a Church!

However, He says that he holds their loss of love/relationship with Him against them. They had grown robotic and mechanical in their ability to do Church, and not pursued relationship with God. As a result, the Church would end and one of the greatest evangelical centers of the world would cease.

How are we pursuing personal relationship with God, and not performing, habitually proceeding, or using experience to behave correctly? Praying for us this morning Georgia that we would pursue that relationship!

Annelie Hetland 7 months ago

Praying all night long…

does sound like a long and exhausting time especially, when one is dealing with outraged spiritual leaders, who are trying to come up with something clever to harm you; and also, when there is a very important decision to be made, namely: Who will become an apostle?

Left to my own devices I would have been overwhelmed by firstly: the grief of dealing with the hardened hearts of the Pharisees, and the knowledge of the gossip and evil intentions toward me. secondly: choosing the right apostles

How wonderful it is, that we can come to the Father with all our burdens at any time of the day or night and committing to Him all burdens of conflict and big decisions…

and maybe a whole night of prayer might not be so long after all

michael mcgowen 7 months ago

Thank you lord Jesus for your people behind the technology using your scriptures, it’s amazing at the touch of a quoted verse the scripture pops up makes me think about your verse in revelation 21:24. Please protect your people behind all this that the enemy can’t infiltrate and change a letter or a dot thank you lord Jesus I wanna be just like you and everything you do.

greg jones 7 months ago

Some people read a gospel account like this and put priority on belief in the miracle. Miracle witnessed/believed=authenticity/proof. They haven’t witnessed miraculous withered hand healings, they don’t believe the claims of faith healers, therefore there is nothing authentic about gospel claims. God is the miracles of the Bible-or God isn’t. He is the preventer of disaster-or he isn’t, is a conclusion they reason from. I understand that reasoning when that is your conclusion.

When the disciples rub grain heads in their hands on one Sabbath and the next Sabbath story is about a withered hand being healed and people becoming angry. It would make sense to me the miracle is allegory for someone publicly changing his mind, if someone were to reason from that conclusion. That is the kind of thing that usually causes the angry response we see here.

Great points in the devotional today.

Michael Scaman 7 months ago

Jesus makes a string of claims about himself, not directly saying he’s the messiah or divine but for all practical purposes implying it.

He claimed to be Lord of the (holy) Sabbath here He claimed to have authority on earth to forgive sins (against God) He claimed to be the bridegroom (Israel was meant to be betrothed to God)

All 3 are clearly not claims of someone who’s merely a good teacher, nothing more.

Those claims weren’t direct enough ‘to stick in court’ and the religious leaders would ask his identity more directly at Jesus trial (and then they did a melt down).

Hope Harris 7 months ago

Good Morning Friends Verse nine stands out to me this morning: “I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” It reminds me that God’s commands are for my good. They give life rather than take away from it. This revelation has changed how I view God. It can as result of reading the Old Testament with JTJ.

I once thought with held the things I wanted because He was cruel, condemning, unjust and unfair. What I have learned is God is good and wants whats best for me more than I do.

Sue Bohlin 7 months ago

Thank you, Georgia.

I loved reading of Jesus’ healing the man’s withered hand for the way it points to what He does in our souls. So much of scripture reveals spiritual truth that goes way deeper than the surface events! Because of the fall, because of life’s experiences and especially because of other people’s woundings, many of us have sections of our hearts that are withered. They are shriveled up and useless–until Jesus brings life and vitality to those parts, restoring us to the fullness that He called “the abundant life.”

Hugh Stephenson 7 months ago

Is the Word of God a burden or a blessing?

Is the Bible a detailed instruction manual to be followed to the jot and tittle? Or an 800,000 word love letter?

Larry Crabb says “The Bible is a love story that begins with a divorce. Everything from the third chapter of Genesis through the end of Revelation is the story of a betrayed lover wooing us back into His arms_” (66 Love Letters).

What was on the disciples’ mind? I imagine they were thanking God for his provision as they walked through the grain fields.

And the mind of the man in the synagogue? My guess is the disability meant he could not support himself. Just another day in a tough life? Then Jesus stopped teaching and drew him in to be healed.

Praising God today for His blessing and the unmerited favor of provision and healing.

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