Amy Elaine - Beloved Lumiere Devotional

This is a guest devotional I did for the Beloved Lumiere Devotional. The Beloved Lumiere Devotional is a great weekly encouragement from Amy Elaine and I encourage you to check out Amy and her other fantastic writings, and subscribe to her weekly devotional on her website here

The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27(HCSB)
BeLoved Lumière Devotional FEATURING: Karla Swanigan

There is a chapter in the book of John that has really been pressing on my heart lately. You know, the kind of pressing that makes you obsess over a verse? Playing the scenarios over and over in your mind until you realize that maybe there’s something there that the Holy Spirit is trying to show you?

In this passage from John chapter 9, a blind man has been healed and the people in the community are amazed and astounded at this awesome miracle! But now, here come the Pharisees, the “religious” people.

They brought the man who used to be blind to the Pharisees. The day that Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes was a Sabbath. So again the Pharisees asked him how he received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” he told them. “I washed and I can see.” Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for He doesn’t keep the Sabbath!” John 9:13-16(HCSB)

Websters defines the word scandalous as this: Causing general public outrage by a perceived offense against morality or law.

So here’s what’s happening in this passage. Jesus has just done this amazing miracle-healing a man that’s been blind since birth. And instead of rejoicing, instead of being happy and thankful, these religious leaders are only worried about the law.

The Religious Ones considered what Jesus had done to be scandalous. These were ‘Rabbinical Laws’, man made laws, things considered by man to be ‘work’ on the Sabbath. These laws were written by man in addition to the laws required by God.

Then He told them, “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27(HCSB)

So you see, the law was there to point to the need for grace-the need for a Savior. Jesus was right there in front of them and they couldn’t see it. Essentially, they were blind too.

Do you recognize the irony in this passage?

Jesus healed a physically blind man, but the ones who had their physical sight also needed His healing- for their spiritual blindness.

The study notes from this portion of scripture in The Passion Translation say this:

“Traditions and superficial knowledge of the Bible can actually blind our hearts if we do not believe in Jesus above all other religious dogmas. Many of those who knew the scriptures refused to believe.”

Scandalous Grace
“Let’s not let the rules, laws, & customs of Christianity get in the way of loving & caring for people. When we do, we miss the heart of the Gospel entirely.” ~ Karla Swanigan

In a nutshell, here’s what I want to say about that:

Reading the Bible isn’t enough.

Knowing the commandments and all the “rules” is not enough. We also need to be in authentic, intimate relationship with our Savior.
We have to know Jesus.

To help put this into an applicable, “our current culture” situation, think of it this way. Imagine that I went out to a party and ended up having way too much to drink. I realize it is unsafe for me to get behind the wheel, so I call up one of my Christian friends to explain my circumstance and ask for a ride home. But instead of agreeing to help me, my friend begins to quote the Bible. She tells me that, in fact, she will not come pick me up because it says in Ephesians 5:16 not to get drunk.

What?!? Are you serious?

Okay, yes, it does say that in the Bible. But it also says “love covers a multitude of sins”. And not to mention the verse in Proverbs 17 that says “a friend loves AT ALL TIMES” (emphasis mine).

Friends, we are not called to be religious. WE are called to LOVE.

Let’s not let the rules, laws, and customs of our Christianity get in the way of us loving and caring for people. When we do that, we have missed the heart of the Gospel entirely.

Jesus tells us over and over in the New Testament to follow Him. And Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:1-2 to “be imitators of God, to walk in love as Christ loved us”.

You guys, our desire should be to look like Jesus. Let us passionately pursue loving others like Jesus.

Be that shining light that illuminates the Gospel in a way that points to Him, not some religion.

For whoever does not love, does not know God, for God is love.
1 John 4:8

Love & Hugs-

Thank you for joining us for A Gathering of Friends: Guest Devos at BeLoved Lumière Devotional.

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Be Loved in The Light ~
Prayer: Abba God, I pray that you would “unblind” our hearts today from any religious dogmas or legalistic views. I pray that we would walk in true, authentic relationship with you, our Savior. Lord Jesus, let us look like you. I pray that we would not only walk in love, but that we would look like LOVE. And Father, please increase our ability and overwhelming desire to extend your scandalous grace to the world. May we always point the way to you, Jesus. In the mighty, holy, and beautiful Name above all names we pray, AMEN.