Why argue when we don’t know all the
facts and the Pharisees were blamed – we too can be blamed (v.2). Jesus Christ is Lord of the
Sabbath and His law is the law of liberty (James 2:12). He knows the problem that
both the Pharisee and the man with the withered hand have – they are in their
sins. What does He do? He is a God of
love – He said, “Love your enemies
(v.27).” He also wants to save the
Pharisees from the membrane of religion that tied them to their own beliefs.
Christ knows their judgmental thoughts and so He begins to heal the man with the
withered hand to also reach them but their biases come in the way of seeing Him
for what He really is. But He ultimately saves Pharisees like Nicodemus, Joseph
of Arimethea and Saul of Tarsus. When we go to theological college, it is a
general trend to become proud – instead of our learning making us humble, we
become too technical.


In fact we should be
learning how to relate to people. As a music mentor one of my joys is my own
pursuit of also learning from the students I teach on how to relate to them – so
it is not for me to learn music from them because that is my ilk but to learn
how to approach them. Therefore, learning never stops. Concerning the accusation
the Pharisees made about Jesus’ disciples eating grain on the Sabbath, they knew
the allowance of Moses in this matter but they had their own additions to
protect them as the national Jewish people. Moses allowed for immediate needs
such as hunger (Deut.23:25). What
was disallowed on the Sabbath was cutting the grain and selling it. How have we added extra rules to keep others

When an existing church leadership is hypocritical to the point of
suicide what is the solution?
A new leadership must
be established and Christ goes to a Mountain to pray and does that with a
cross-section of humanity among twelve disciples. Douglas Milne puts it well:
“There were businessmen (Peter & Andrew), a civil servant (Matthew), a
political activist (Simon), hot-tempered brothers (John & James), a natural
leader (Peter), a constitutional doubter (Thomas) and a sceptical believer

Luke is the only Gospel writer
that presents Jesus’ beatitudes with woes. When Moses renews God’s covenant with
the nation of Israel before entering the Promised Land, he too places the
blessings and the curses before the people (Deut.27:11-28:68). In Jesus’ audience what kinds of people are
The poor and the hungry! What kinds of people are cursed? The
rich and the popular! There is nothing wrong in being rich but generally the
rich in their hearts have no place for the poor.

When we were still in our sins
and enemies of God, Christ died for the ungodly (Rom.5:6). There is no bias in Christ’s
love – it is not for one’s own race, class, background or culture but across the
divide. How can we apply that to today’s
What about someone who came
into our churches with tattoos or a fellow with pierced ears? How would we
May those of us who are Christians learn more of Christ to love the

By the time we come to our
suggested parallel chapter in Exodus
we see a loving God who wants to establish a leadership for a people that
He has made for Himself. These
people are not going to just accept Him and His servant Moses, considering that
He allowed them to be in slavery of over four hundred years. It is going to take
a few miracles to convince them. But the miracles start here on this mountain,
Horeb (later to become Sin-ai). Here there is a conversation between God and
Moses – Moses’ prayer life begins here.

God knows
that His leaders among the nation of Israel in Egyptian bondage will be like the
Pharisees – they would eventually fight Moses but nonetheless here the story of
love begins. He places a fire on a mountain for Moses to investigate. He doesn’t
come right down to Moses but down to the mountain so that Moses could reach the
mountain – a picture of the high standard of God’s love and law.

Is God just going to deliver the nation of Israel? Does He only love
He loves to save to the ends of the earth and
so He begins with Israel and by the time they leave, they leave with some
Egyptians. On the Day of Pentecost we see Egyptians being saved and Philip
speaks to an Ethiopian (Acts 8:26).
The Burning Bush has two vivid pictures: the fire of God’s heaven and Satan’s
hell. When Moses was in the valley, at a distance he first saw the fire of God’s
heaven and it reminded him of a fire that once went out. His own fire of anger
crying out for justice but it killed an Egyptian forty years ago. But here he
sees a fire that doesn’t burn the bush out (the Acacia tree). But also when he
investigated closer, it was a reminder of the fire of hell that Israel is going
through in Egyptian bondage. But through Moses and the Burning Bush God sees
future leaders for His church. What Moses experiences, God wants others to
experience (v.12).
Why argue but Moses’ arguments begin here
through an enquiry. Unlike the Pharisees who believed they were everything,
Moses doesn’t believe that he is anything. He says, “Who am I?” God told him that He would
be with him (v.12). If God could be
with an Egyptian daughter of the Pharaoh to name him “Moses” which means “drawn
out from the river”, God will achieve what that meant. He is the natural leader
to draw Israel out of Egypt through the Rivers of the Red Sea – he is the
redeemer. But he wants to make doubly sure that this deliverance story is going
to work. He is still not convinced. Many of us have been going to church for
years but the bush is not burning for us. We haven’t yet trusted God fully.
If God named him “Moses”, now God
finally names Himself for Moses and the nation of Israel to know God by this
name in the future. “Tell Pharaoh that …I AM has sent you (v.14).” In other words, “It is YAHWEH
that has sent you.” This must be a lesson for Moses to connect because on
investigation he would come to know that his mother’s name Jochebed meant “Yahweh is my glory.” God has the big
picture and the details all worked out. Can we ever argue with a God that loves
to make a people for Himself from every nation, tribe, race and

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *