People, Not Policies

John 5:16-18 (NIV)

So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them,“My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 1For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

We can get so caught up in following man-made rules that we sometimes forget that people are more important than rules and policies. The relationship that we have with people is more important than whether or not they follow some policy or rule that we’ve made up or our interpretation of a commandment of Scripture. 
Jesus had healed the paralyzed man on the Sabbath and told him to pick up his mat and walk. The Jews began to persecute Him because of this. Jesus responds by telling them that His Father was always working and that He was working like His Father, even on the Sabbath. 
The Jewish religious leaders were so concerned with Jesus’ healing activity on the Sabbath that they missed the fact that Jesus had healed a paralyzed man. They missed the fact that God had done something amazing because they were more concerned about their policy. They completely missed the fact that Jesus was God in human flesh because of their interpretation of the commandment to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy. Then, when Jesus made Himself equal with God by claiming God and His Father, they began to persecute Him and tried to kill Him.
We have to be on guard against implementing rules and policies in the church that cause people to be seen as less important than our interpretation of Scripture. While we can have good intentions with our policies and procedures, if we aren’t careful, we’ll make them more important than people. God comes first and people come second and then everything else comes after. 
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You gave Your Son for us to rescue us from eternal death. Thank You for this gift of eternal life. Help me to be able to see people as You see us. Help me to see people as more important than rules and policies. In the name of Your Son, Jesus, amen.

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