• GOSPEL PEARLS

God is not an employer

You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall (Luke 13: 15)

On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 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?” When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing. (Luke 13: 10-17)

Doing Jesus's work can never be reduced to a mere professional relationship. In collaborating with God we are not exchanging our performance for a salary. Rather, it is about an exchange of giving which we never fully deserve by way of our own works, but which we can accept with gratitude or refuse altogether. That is why Jesus, who not by working but by giving on the Sabbath, does not break the ancient law. By giving, Jesus brings the Sabbath to it full completion. May we not treat the Lord as an employer from whom we earn a paycheck, but rather as our Savior.