Text: Luke 6:1-11 | Listen to Message
4 Ways Jesus Is Not A Legalist
- Jesus says the law exists to serve people.
If anyone could say that people were made to serve the law, it would be the Son of God. But Jesus says the opposite: the law was given to serve people. People are God’s image bearers – and the law is just a tool that’s designed to help us. It helps us understand what God is like. It helps us understand how life flourishes in God’s world. It helps us know how to love our neighbor. It helps us see what’s wrong with us so that we know to seek grace.
- Jesus is obsessed with observing the spirit and purpose of the law.
Jesus doesn’t get so entangled in the letter of the law that he forgets why the law was given in the first place. The law is designed to help you love God and your neighbor. If some technical, over-nuanced application would lead you away from love, Jesus would point you back to the compassionate heart of the law.
- Jesus exposes your failures in order to restore you.
Jesus doesn’t point out your sin, your brokenness, or the malformation of your character in order to judge or ridicule you. He says to you – as he said to the man in Luke 6 – “Show me where you’re broken … Hold it out in faith, and I will heal you.”
- Jesus saves you from the curse of the law through a costly exchange.
For all intents and purposes, it cost Jesus his life to heal one man in Luke 6. The legalists wanted Jesus to wait until tomorrow and Jesus said, “No, he gets healed today.” And that was that: the Pharisees were so ticked, they went out and began conspiring and plotting his murder. Jesus was willing to be broken so that one broken man could be made whole.
This is the Gospel. God gave us His law to show us how to love. And we’ve all fallen short of what the law requires – we’ve all failed to love as we ought. But Jesus, the lawkeeper, took only evil so we could receive only good. Forever.