It's of great importance as we look at Jesus' actions, that we take note, He didn't conform to the religious practices of the day. Sometimes I feel as if we have made Jesus out to be a respecter of Religion, when in fact; He was always challenging the religious leaders of the day.
In John 7 it's interesting to watch as Jesus challenges the Pharisees of the day when He says, "My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him."
The Pharisees looked at him and accused Him of coming from the devil. And then Jesus turned to say, "Jesus said to them, "I did one miracle, and you are all astonished. Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a child on the Sabbath. Now if a child can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath?" (v.21-23)
I think one of the take aways from this section of John is…there are certain things worth going to battle over, and certain things that should just lie on the wayside of life.
The fact that a man got healed on the Sabbath day seems so insignificant to us, but the Jewish leaders, it was heresy. The idea that keeping the law of Moses was more important than seeing the needs of people around you, it just seems antiquated.
Church, out of the box, simply refers to the point when we can get over our own agendas, our own laws, our own pride; and focus on whatever helps people come to know Jesus better.
You know the things I'm talking about…Here's a list.
Things to Die for.
a. God created all we see
b. Jesus is God's Son
c. The Holy Spirit is Alive and well
d. The Bible is God's Word
e. Jesus will return
Things we can talk through
a. The Color of the Carpet
b. The order of service
c. Whether the offering plates are passed or sit in the back of the church
d. Music styles of worship
e. How we go and share the gospel with our neighborhood
Jesus was much more concerned with the bigger picture of ministry. Although He is the King, His Kingdom looks very different than our versions of kingdom. When the Pharisees made the Sabbath the structural rule of the day, Jesus knew what He was doing, He took the structure and turned it into a story of example how HIS kingdom would be known in real time.
Today, if you feel like you don't fit in a church, or you're fighting the leadership to make church look like something you're more comfortable in, take a deep breath. Remember God is on the throne of heaven and earth. And HE alone is going to be the king of The New Kingdom. As we used to say in the 90's CHILL OUT! It's way more important that we learn how to get along and tackle issues like….
c.) Child Trafficking
e.) Health Issues
and I could go on and on here. The point is, let's not miss the New Kingdom in favor of our own prideful affinity for rules and regulations. What if today, Jesus wants to take you on the wildest ride of life you've ever been on? Would you go? Or, would you look at Him and declare it UNSAFE?