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Motive (by David Peterson)


Jesus continues his ministry east of the Jordan in an area called Perea. While invited to a meal in a Pharisees’ house, Jesus provides instruction on the Sabbath. In Luke 14:3-5 it is written,

“And Jesus responded and said to the lawyers and Pharisees, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?’ But they kept silent. And He took hold of him and healed him, and sent him away. And He said to them, ‘Which one of you will have a son or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?’”

Jesus healed a man with dropsy on the Sabbath to prove that his motive was one of mercy and general love and care for all who are afflicted, despite what day it was.

The great Baptist minister, C.H. Spurgeon, once wrote, “You are not acting as you ought to do when you are moved by any other motive than a single eye to your Lord’s glory.” Spurgeon succinctly identifies the motive we all should subscribe to is one of being “Christ-like”. That is, all of our efforts should be directed at loving God and loving each other.

Beautiful Sabbath is a hymn that was written by Fanny Crosby in 1881 about how sweet our relationship becomes when we “draw nearer to Jesus our king”. In the third stanza it reads, “Beautiful Sabbath, when Jesus our Lord bids us devoutly remember His Word; Opens its treasures of wisdom so dear, treasures that sparkle our young hearts to cheer.” Crosby appeals to believers to internalize His Word and reap the benefits of His wisdom, love, and compassion for others.

Let us pray: Prince of Peace, motivate us as God’s children to care for others as we would care for ourselves. Help us to grow into loving, caring, nurturing, brothers and sisters not just on the Sabbath but every day.

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