Is your donkey thirsty?

Luke 13:14-17   14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” 15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” 17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

Traditiooooooooon.  Tradition.  Ah, Fiddler on the Roof.  Tradition.  Religion.  Rules.  This is what Jesus was up against.  Well, not the fiddler on the roof but the other stuff.  Somewhere in the midst of serving God, the synagogue rulers got lost in their tradition.  They elevated the letter of the law above the spirit of the law.  The celebrated tradition more than they pursued the power of God.  

Jesus wasn’t having any of it.  He was going to heal people regardless of the day.  He wasn’t a doctor performing a surgery; He was the great physician setting people free.  So when the ruler got mad at him for “healing” this lady, Jesus asked him if his donkey was thirsty.  Because if his donkey was thirsty he would untie him and give him a drink.  Jesus untied this woman spiritually and gave her a drink of living water.  What’s the difference, Jesus wanted to know.

We can get stuck in that whole tradition trap, too.  What would happen if someone got healed during a time of extended worship and ministry?  Would you be frustrated that they were cutting into the sermon?  Are we really pursuing tradition over the power of God?  Before you jump to conclusions, there’s nothing bad about a sermon.  In fact, there’s lots of good… I deliver one every Sunday.  But as a pastor, I must pursue ministry the way Jesus did.  I must look for the Father’s heart and go after it, regardless of what that might look like.  We should do the same in our personal lives.  We should be pursuing His agenda over our routines.  Try it today and see what happens.

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