Tuesday: October 13, 2020
Reference: Luke 11:37-41
Luke 11:38 And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.
If the events in the Gospel happened at this particular point in time, within the second peak of a pandemic, we could have expected laser shot stares at Jesus. He would have become the subject of significant bashing with headlines including ‘Man blatantly ignores health guidelines by refusing to wash hands for just 20 seconds’. That may sound like a big deal but in comparison with the era in which Jesus actually walked, this suggestion to wash hands paled in comparison to breaking the law of not washing hands. So the pharisee’s action should not really come as a massive shock to us.
Just like observing speed limits while driving, hand washing then was seen solely as a fulfilment of the law and nothing else. Any other benefits of having clean hands including reducing the transmission of illnesses and the like did not matter. The focus was ‘it is to fulfil the law’, that was all.
Think of this: in learning to drive, one doesn’t just learn to follow the rules, but to be safe on the road – there is an extrapolation of intentions here. Not that rules should be broken, but they should not become the sole preoccupation
because there are other things that also matter and we might miss out on the opportunity to be a part of those.
The Pharisee’s had their eyes so fixed on observing ‘laws’ that they would not look past them, and that is where they always locked horns with Jesus. Sweetheart,
laws and rules abound, but do we wonder if behind them there is a bigger reason? Is there a lesson? Is there a virtue been advanced? Is there a heart of love on display?
Let us try not only to look at the laws, but through them for them might mask some deeper intentions.