Jesus wasn’t supposed to work on the Sabbath. He had very strict rules that he was supposed to follow. The leaders wanted to trick him into doing evil so they brought a disabled man to Jesus on the Sabbath. Jesus healed the man despite the set up and broke the ancient rules.
When the temple leaders cried “Ah ha! We’ve got you!!!” Jesus told them that they were judging by wrong standards. They cared more about their rules than the man who was healed (John 7:23-24).
How do you distinguish between good and evil? Do the good people believe all the right things while keeping the right set of rules? While the evil people believe all the wrong things while disregarding your particular list of rules?
Reverend Tony Campolo started a speech like this: “I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. Thirdly and what’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.”
Where does your sense of right and wrong fall? Were you more upset that children died or that Tony cussed?
I know churches who are dead set against allowing women and/or the LGBT community to have an equal communion among the believers. They are barred from being teachers, elders, and pastors. But the same churches disregard the teaching in the Bible against divorced people remarrying and being teachers, elders, and pastors. Women are not required to cover their heads in these churches either. They keep some of the rules they think they’ve found in scripture and disregard others. And yet, these churches pride themselves in being able to distinguish good from evil.
So what is this Teaching about Righteousness that the author of Hebrews mentions? Could it be that it is not following a list of rules, but living in love? Could it be caring for others more than one’s self? Could it be following Jesus into the difficult places he calls us to go sharing our spiritual and physical food with vulnerable people?
Mature followers of Christ distinguish between good and evil.
11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:11-14)
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