One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
The Pharisees had a fatal flaw. They were always intent on finding fault with others. Their main target was Jesus. On this occasion, however, they directed their attention to Jesus’ disciples. It seemed the disciples provided their accusers with a golden opportunity. As they walked through a field, they picked some heads of grain to eat. According to the Pharisees this was work, harvesting on the Sabbath.
Their assault on the disciples might have worked if Jesus didn’t call attention to their fatal flaw. While he didn’t defend his disciples’ actions, he did reveal the Pharisees abuse of the other commandments. In their fervor to keep the Sabbath Day, they rejected the other commandments, especially the ones which required them to love others. This was their fatal flaw.
Jesus’ exposure of their sin is what I need on a daily basis. It is easy for me to compare myself with others. I especially like comparing myself with those whose decisions, choices and lives are what I consider worse than mine. I can easily point out their misdeeds, and quickly feel better about myself because I am not like them. When I embark upon this self-righteous comparison, I am no different than the Pharisees. My fatal flaw is theirs.
This is why I need Jesus to uncover my sin of arrogance and self-centeredness. I also need to hear his call to repent. As I acknowledge and sincerely confess my guilt, he leads me to the forgiveness he provides. He directs me to his sinless life—every commandment perfectly kept. He leads me to his cross—every act of disobedience completely washed away. He even opens my eyes to his undeserved love—every reason I need to serve him and others in love.
Here is the only way I can address my fatal flaw: In Jesus I receive forgiveness. In Jesus I receive new strength and hope. In Jesus I receive the love that leads me to be loving.
O dearest Savior, remove my self-righteous pride. Replace it with your undeserved and unselfish love, and lead me to live in love with others. Amen.
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