Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it. —Winston S. Churchill
Jesus was willing to break the rules in order to love people. Now the question we need to ask is: Which rules were breakable?
Jesus broke rules from two categories: rules of convention and rules of tradition.
Rules of convention said, “Hey, don’t hang out with those people. Instead, hang out with these people.” Over and over again, Jesus broke these rules because they kept Him from loving people.
Rules of tradition were manmade—developed by people trying to navigate the grace space between verses. Rules of tradition developed into the 613 statutes that tried to fill in the “blanks” of the Mosaic Law. Yeah, Jesus blew past these traditions in order to love people.
Some of you might be thinking, Oh, yeah! Pete said I can break rules like Jesus did. Maybe I’ll call my buddies this Friday. I can love them well while we party.
That’s not what I’m saying. Jesus never sinned to love people. We don’t have to sin to love people.
My encouragement to break rules is directed toward those of you who are rule-keepers drifting toward the arena of rule police. This is a wake-up call: Wake up! Jesus didn’t hesitate to break the rules if it meant He could love someone.
For some of you, this idea is terrifying. Let me embolden you: While this goes against your church experience, it goes with the Lord’s Spirit.
In Acts 10, the Lord visited Peter and told him to break the food rules. Peter couldn’t comprehend what was being asked of him. “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied.
The Lord asked Peter three times to break the rules, and even then, Peter struggled.
This new thinking might not be easy to adopt, but since Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever…
And since His Spirit indwells us as believers, expressing Himself through us… we’ll find that the way Jesus loved people then is the same way He loves people now, through us.
So it might be terrifying to break the rules of convention and tradition in order to love someone, but it’s worth it.
Jesus, move me into this way of loving. I don’t want my fear of the rules to immobilize me, keeping me from relationships and paralyzing me in manmade tradition. Ease my trepidation and increase my love. Amen.
Learn more from Pete’s teaching on Luke, What Will Jesus Do?