Teenside Daily Devotional

Read Matthew 12:9-14.

The Pharisees challenge Jesus yet again. This time, they follow him to their synagogue, where Jesus is met with a man who has a withered hand. The Pharisees know that Jesus will want to heal the man. They have watched him have compassion on many. However, they think they truly have him trapped now. If he wants to heal the man, he will have to break many regulations on the Sabbath.

Jesus uses one of his most effective techniques: comparison. He compares the man to a sheep that has fallen into a pit, saying that any person would get it out, Sabbath or not. And a man is worth much more than a sheep! While the Pharisees would have hardened their hearts against what Jesus is saying, I’m sure that many people around would have followed Jesus’ logic and agreed with him.

Although the Pharisees were most likely just trying to capture Jesus in this situation, it’s probably not a stretch to imagine that they create such regulations regarding Sabbath so that they don’t have to interact with the lowly people of their society. If we are not careful, we too can make up excuses to avoid interacting with certain people that we may not want to interact with. These people could be rude, poor, snobby, dangerous, selfish, ethnically different from us, etc. Once again, this is known as the “sin of partiality” (James 2). The truth is, every person you come into contact with was created by God. And they, just like you, all have the same purpose: to love God and love others. However, they may not be aware of this purpose. They might be lost. How would they know if someone didn’t tell them, interact with them, love them? This is the mission of the Church. Be aware of those around you, wherever you might be, and see them in this way because that’s how our Lord sees them, and that’s how he sees you!

*Take a moment to journal these questions. Write down your thoughts, questions, and concerns. Then date your entry. One of the coolest things is being able to look back and see how God came through for you.*

  1. Are there any barriers you have put up so that you don’t have to love certain people? (It could even be that person wronged you, so you don’t want to show love.) 

  1. Jesus’s love surpasses the extent of our human “instinct” to love. Our humanity says to give love when we feel love. It says you should only give love when you know that person has something to give in return. Jesus contradicts this. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). What would it look like for you to truly love like Jesus? What would you need to change in order to do so? Who do you need to show better love to?

  1. People who are lost and hurting– who long for something more, need your love. Your demonstration of love (whether deserved by human standards or not) is Christ in you. Who needs Christ’s love in your life? How can you love them?

Prayer: Spend some time praying about the things you journaled. Thank God that He does not love like the world but extends so much grace to us. Thank Him for that love that allows us to love others. Ask God to open your heart to the people you need to love better and to show you what it looks like to love better. Pray that your life is a reflection of the love of Christ.

Song: Love Came Down- Brian Johnson

Spotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/169Fs68hROYRdS362T8D9w

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