Already the battle lines are drawn. The Jewish religious leaders want to kill Jesus not just because he broke the rules of the Sabbath (!!), but because He claimed equality with God. They had misinterpreted what God had done on the seventh day of creation: yes, He had rested from His work of creation as it was complete, but His higher works of judgement, mercy, compassion and love continued. Just as with His Father, so with Jesus: His compassion moved Him to heal the man. May we never get to a place when we feel we can have a holiday or be retired from being a Christian! I was hearing recently about those holidaying in Greece, seeing the plight of refugees coming there by boat and supporting local charities both when they were there and when they returned home. Our work is never done, because we are ambassadors of Christ! Because Jesus was only concerned with obeying His Father He could behave objectively and be moved fully by the Holy Spirit to do what His Father wanted done. Already we have the promise of Jesus, that those who believed in His Father had already passed from death to life. No sense of having to wait the decision, already done-adopted, embraced, loved by Almighty God! Surely, we have an inclusive God, who comes seeking for His children! However, part of becoming a child of God is to turn: turning to face Him, we turn away from what we were facing before and in doing so, we begin to become like Him, inevitably doing good, much of it unconsciously. I have had the joy of witnessing the transformation of those turn towards Jesus, the shine of joy on their faces, the instinctive way they reach out to support those who need it around them. I would just say to cultivate this. When we first become God's children it is natural, but as we grow, we can let religiosity and narrow-mindedness creep in. Keep a watch on yourself!
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