fruitful sunrise #18

“Be fruitful and multiply” is the the Divine Directive for the human species.

Since the dawn of creation the Lord ordained this mandate:

“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over ….  every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28

Part of that mandate means to procreate prolifically. No objection there, have fun with that.

But it also assigns the authority and responsibility to make this world a better place by being agents of good.

As John Wesley would say,

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” 

Now consider the context of Matthew 12.  Jesus is encountering some rough contention from the religious power brokers. Their job, by the way, is to … do good.

His teachings, his lifestyle, his miracles, don’t adhere to their rigid religious rules. In this chapter he argues for reforming their meaning of Sabbath, then heals a man’s shriveled hand to prove the point.

After that, they had had enough. They decide to kill him.

Then “Some of the faithful brought Jesus a man who was possessed by a demon, who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him. The man could see and talk, and demons no longer crawled around in him.” Matthew 12:22

Jesus casts out the demons, and the Pharisees twist it into an accusation that he is getting his power from the Devil himself!

This is the nature of the religious spirit, more interested in distortion and control than doing the work of the kingdom.  You don’t have to work in a religious establishment (and I have) to see this type of thing. It’s more about our turf than the kingdom. (Beware the yeast of the Pharisees! Matthew 16:6)

To say or even imply that the man of God, doing the work of God, has the wrong motivation and is serving the devil is … sheer blasphemy. It’s completely upside down.

Jesus blasts them, concluding with this litmus test.

Good trees produce good fruits; bad trees produce bad fruits. You can always tell a tree by its fruits.” Matthew 12:33

The proof in is in the results. The outcomes prove the point.

Is it right to heal on the Sabbath?

Of course it is. It’s what we’re here for. To do as much good as we can.

That’s bearing the right kind of fruit. It’s not about religious correctness, it’s about doing the right thing.

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About Season Of Light

I am writing a devotional series called “Season of Light” (#SeasonOfLife) during the beginning of 2016, focusing on the 40 day season of Epiphany (from January 6 – February 10). We’ll explore the major biblical themes of the beginning of Jesus ministry, and I’ll comment as the Holy Spirit inspires. This is for the purpose of growing in our relationship with the Lord. My desire – my hope and prayer for you – is that your heart may expand and your spirit grow brighter as we seek to be filled with the knowledge and presence of God. So, I invite you to join me on the “Season of Light” journey!

Often I’ll be inspired by a scripture from the Daily Audio Bible readings and use that as a writing prompt. Here’s the DAB readings for January 11: Genesis 37:1-38:30; Matthew 12:22-45; Psalms 16:1-11; Proverbs 3:27-32

Our church is also on a reading plan of four chapters per day, starting in the New Testament. Today is Mark 5-9.