Leaders - Focus on Christ for the People's Sake. #6
Updated: Aug 6
John McVicar was a British armed robber and public enemy number one back in the 1960s. He was wanted ‘dead or alive’. He went through many high-security prisons. He destroyed almost every cell they put him in. He got so low he became animalistic; he’d smear his own faeces across the walls and floor. He escaped from several prisons too. One governor decided to give him a break; some responsibility instead of isolation. This was the beginning of new life for John McVicar. He was paroled in 1978.
The law, when used in a draconian way to only punish, doesn’t produce a changed person, just revengeful activists. When the law takes into account human value it can produce a level of liberty combined with a good degree of reform. A criminal is one who breaks a law, even if they steal a loaf of bread to feed their starving family!
Punishment should match the crime. Jesus confronted this level of ‘crime’ in Jerusalem. The religious leaders wanted to punish people whom Jesus had healed because they were healed on a Saturday!
Here’s an example from John 5; “The day on which the healing took place was a Sabbath (Saturday) and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who was healed, ‘It is the Sabbath, the Law forbids you to carry your mat… So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him’. (Jn 5.10 & 16 NIV) They saw and demonstrated no human value in the patient whom Jesus healed. They saw Jesus as less than human as they set about him. Leaders, just because a rule book says something is a ‘law’ in the church, may mean very little when the light of the Gospel is brought to bear upon it. Take care. Teach to bring hope, preach to give confidence, and speak to share love. Look to Jesus as Life Lasts from there.