Summary: It is very easy for us to become set in our ways. This is true not only for individuals, but also for churches. We quickly fall into certain routines, and after we do a thing for a certain period of time, it becomes sacred.
Blessed Are The Flexible
13 And He went out again by the seashore; and all the people were coming to Him, and He was teaching them.
Levi (Matthew) Called
14 As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him.
15 And it happened that He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following Him.
16 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, “Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?”
17 And hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
18 John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and they came and said to Him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?”
19 And Jesus said to them, “While the bridegroom is with them, the attendants of the bridegroom cannot fast, can they? So long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
20 “But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.
21 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results.
22 “No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”
Question of the Sabbath
23 And it happened that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain.
24 The Pharisees were saying to Him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”
25 And He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions became hungry;
26 how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he also gave it to those who were with him?”
27 Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
28 “So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
1 He entered again into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was withered.
2 They were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.
3 He said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward!”
4 And He said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?” But they kept silent.
5 After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
6 The Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.
I heard a new beatitude some time back. Jesus didn’t say it, but it is true: "Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be broken." It is so easy to become inflexible, isn’t it? Especially as Christians, we find ourselves falling into the trap of legalism. Because we care about God’s Word and about Jesus’ commandments, sometimes we write our own little set of standards to which people must conform. We end up judging everybody by those standards, even when those standards are based more on tradition than Bible.
It is very easy for us to become set in our ways. This is true not only for individuals, but also for churches. We quickly fall into certain routines, and after we do a thing for a certain period of time, it becomes sacred. The routine becomes the right way. And whenever someone upsets our routine, we are upset. Ralph Neighbour wrote a book entitled, The Seven Last Words Of The Church. He defined those words as "We never did it that way before." Sadly, those are the very words which cause many churches to die. Inflexibility, the status quo, legalism – these can be the worst enemies of the Church.