Read Mark 3:1-35
For those of you that really know the Lawson family, you will know that we are a baseball family through and through. We all played baseball growing up and with varying degrees of success but we all absolutely love the game. I remember a time growing up where I thought it was a good idea to practice my pitching…with a golf ball…throwing against my parent’s couch. In theory, my plan was bullet proof. However, I was a terrible pitcher to the point where if I was in a boat and threw a rock overboard, I would miss the water. Sure enough, I threw a fastball that missed the couch and put a nice, crisp hole in the wall.
With my hands on my head, my first thought was, “Ah, shoot. Dad’s not gonna be happy.”
This memory reminds me of a picture I recently came across that read:
“Religion says, ‘I messed up. My dad is going to kill me.’ The Gospel says, ‘I messed up. I need to call my Father.’”
The topic of “Religion v Relationship” is one that is very common throughout the gospels. There was a law handed down from God to His people in the Old Testament but there was a very important key that a lot of people missed…the whole law was pointing towards our need for a Savior. This law would be fulfilled by the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ.
At this point in our gospel reading challenge, you have come across this conflict several times already. Jesus does something that contradicts the Old Testament law and the religious leaders throw a fit about it, all the while, Jesus is trying to remind them that He is the Promised One that came, not to abolish the law but to fulfill it.
You see, “religion” is all about right and wrong, with the consequences being clear and immediate. A relationship with Jesus says, “Yes, you sinned and there are consequences…but it doesn’t end there. There is forgiveness. There is hope.”
A huge part of the ministry for Every Day with God and Grace Church as a whole is application. Yes, it’s important to grow in your understanding of God’s word and obtain knowledge, however, how is your life going to change as a result of what you’ve learned? What’s the point of obtaining head knowledge if you’re not going to do anything with it?
There was no one that knew the law better than the religious leaders of Jesus’ day…and they were missing the point. Just knowing something wasn’t enough. How were they applying the truth to their lives? In what way were they growing more into the people God created them to be?
How is your life changing as a result of your RELATIONSHIP with Jesus? If you can’t see a change in your faith over the past few years, you’re missing something. What steps do you need to take to better apply God’s word to your life? In what way can you lean into your relationship with Jesus and the grace and forgiveness that is present?