There is no shortage of trouble around the globe and no shortage of people offering solutions. However, we won’t find our answer in a political party, a policy, an agency, or even a religion. We must realize and declare that the only real answer is Jesus! In fact, He has always been the answer, and He always will be.
When Jesus walked the earth, He once passed through a grain field with His disciples on the Sabbath day. The disciples were hungry, so they began to pluck some of the plants and eat them. Some Pharisees, who were religious leaders during that time, questioned whether the disciples should be taking such action on the Sabbath. They were referring to the law God gave Moses hundreds of years earlier. “Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD” (Exodus 35:2, NKJV).
Despite the Pharisees accusations, Jesus clarified that the disciples had done nothing wrong. He told the Pharisees that as the Son of Man, He was “Lord even of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8).
In this powerful statement, we can learn that the focus of our faith should be Jesus, not our works. You see, God established the Sabbath as a way to provide regular physical and spiritual rest for His people. He knew that observing the practice would be a way to turn people’s attention away from their personal affairs and onto their Lord. However, over time, some religious groups like the Pharisees took the practice away from its original intent. They emphasized abstaining from work more than they did turning attention to God. To them, the practice became more about following a ritual than about following the Lord.
The Pharisees were so busy looking for adherence to the law that they missed the fulfillment of the law … Jesus! They were so pre-occupied with the rules of the Sabbath that they missed the Lord of the Sabbath. They didn’t acknowledge or grasp the truth that He was God in flesh right before their eyes.
We must be careful not to be guilty of the same. What a shame it would be to be so busy with our spiritual acts that we miss Jesus in the process! Let us never fail to acknowledge and appreciate His presence in our lives! But we must keep Jesus the focus.
Yes, we should always try to do the right thing. However, if we become so pre-occupied with over-analyzing every little action we take, we turn more attention on ourselves than on God. That is never a good thing. We should not place our faith in good deeds, rituals, ceremonies, traditions, or any spiritual practice; we place our faith in Jesus alone.
Sometimes, it’s tempting to think, “If I just did this or that, I would experience the blessing of God.” We may always be looking ahead, thinking our works are taking us closer to fulfillment in the Lord. However, we must never overlook the truth that the Lord is near us right now if we will just call on Him!
The apostle Paul reminded people that they didn’t have to pull Christ down from heaven or pull Him up from the deep. Instead, he explained, “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (Romans 10:8). He declared, “Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved” (v. 13). Let’s stop looking for answers in the wrong places and start letting Jesus be our true answer!