Is “being biblical” really what drives me?
I don’t know about you, but I am very concerned with what is biblical. I even try to capitalize the word Biblical, at least most of the time! I believe we should live according to what God has revealed as true and good. And since he has revealed that in the Bible, we should all be highly motivated by the question: is it Biblical?
But today I was thinking about an interaction Jesus had with the Pharisees and experts in the law. The specific point of tension in the story circles around healing. “Is it permissible to heal on the Sabbath, or not?”
Here’s the story from Luke 14:1-6 in my words, which are similar to the ESV and NLT:
One day, Jesus went to the home of a leader of the Pharisees on the Sabbath, to eat a meal. And they were keeping a close watch on him.
And, wouldn’t you know it, there in front of Jesus was a man who had a disease called dropsy that makes your body swell up.
Jesus responded to the experts in the law and to the Pharisees, saying, “Is it permissible to heal on the Sabbath, or is it not?” But they would not say anything.
So, Jesus took hold of the man, healed him, and let him go.
And he said to them, “Who of you, if his son or his ox falls into a well, will not rush to pull him out, on the Sabbath day?”
But they could not give an answer to these things.
“Who of you?”
The point of tension in the story is clearly around “what is lawful.” But, Jesus does not even bring up anything from the law or from any Scripture. After healing the man, he does not say, “It is written…” Instead, he asks “who of you…?” He points to the actual lives of these Pharisees and experts in the law.
Their desire to please God is not their deepest drive. And that, of course, is Jesus’ point.
There is more to this story, but Jesus has really given me some things to think about.
Is “being Biblical” what really drives my behavior?
Is my concern about “being Biblical” actually rooted in a desire to please God?