Here is a classic example of religion missing the point. Here is the scene: a woman has been crippled for eighteen years. Jesus sees her and heals her. The woman praises God; but a religious leader becomes indignant because this healing took place on the Sabbath.
Imagine, the religious leader is too busy making sure people are keeping the rules, that he is unable to see the wonder of this woman being set free by the power of God.
The situation is no different today. Church leaders throughout North America are getting sidetracked by peripheral issues. The call on the church is to be the people of God who extend the work of Israel and Jesus Christ by being a blessing to the world.
Jesus came to give life (John 10:10). The Apostle Paul says that the gospel brings transformation making a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Still the church too often gets bogged down in endless discussions that consume a lot of energy and resources, and yet does not further the creation of an environment into which the kingdom of God might emerge.
No wonder the church is often view as irrelevant at best, and down right mean and judgmental at its worst.
The call on the church is clear. Micah 6:8 summarizes our task: what does the Lord require? Act justly; love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. This is a call to a lavish and generous orthodoxy. This is a call to live different and provocative lives. This is a call not to get hung up on the peripheral and miss our central calling.
Jesus didn’t miss the point. He saw a woman captive by a life-destroying spirit. Nothing was going to get in the way of opening the door of life to her. What better tribute to the Sabbath, the day of rest after creating heaven and earth, than to bring re-creation to this woman.
Jesus gets the point.