Crossroads: Doing What’s Right

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Luke 13:10-17

Your Story

Have you ever done something that you knew was the right thing to do but you got in trouble for it? Tell that story to your family.

My Story and the Bible Story

In November 2014, a 90-year old man and two pastors were arrested in Florida. What did they do wrong? They were feeding the homeless. The city of Fort Lauderdale passed a city ordinance that restricted the public feeding of the homeless, so as Arnold Abbott, Dwayne Black, and Mark Sims were handing out food to the homeless in a park, police officers arrested them. As soon as Arnold Abbott was released from jail, he planned to again feed the homeless. He knew that no matter what the city said, feeding the homeless, the poorest of the poor, was the right thing to do.

Read Luke 13:10-17. From the NIV: On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” The Lord answered him, “You hypocrite! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.”

Sometimes we lose sight of our purpose. We get so caught up in what we’re supposed to do and in the rules that we forget how much God helped people and how God calls us to help others. If there were a law against feeding the homeless where I live, I’m not so sure that I would defy it and go out and feed them anyway. But Arnold Abbott, Dwayne Black, and Mark Sims did. They understood that it was more important for them to be Jesus to the poorest of the poor, to help them and to feed them, than it was to follow the rules. Instead of allowing their fear of being arrested control them, they did what Jesus would have done. How do we know that Jesus would have done that? Look at this passage from Luke.

In this passage, Jesus heals on the Sabbath. Basically, Jesus did work on the Sabbath. And in that time, that was a huge no-no. People could get into a lot of trouble for working on the Sabbath, because you were actually breaking the law by doing that. But this woman had been crippled for 18 years. 18 years—that’s longer than you (the kids) have been alive. She hadn’t been able to stand up straight for that long. And on that Sabbath day, she met Jesus. And Jesus truly saw her; he saw her pain and he had compassion on her. So he set her free. What an amazing thing to do! But then, along came the leaders and instead of rejoicing with her, they rebuked Jesus for doing work on a Sunday. Sometimes we forget what’s most important. Rules are very important and we should follow them. But sometimes, sometimes the right thing to do is something that’s against the rules. And when that happens, we have to trust God and follow Him, even if we get in trouble.

Discussion

• Ask your children if they’ve ever gotten in trouble for doing the right thing.
• Talk about how we can know what the right thing is, even if it’s against the rules (if you feel like God wants you to do something, if you feel deep down that something is right, if you’re standing up for someone else, etc.).

Prayer

Ask God to help us know what the right thing to do is. Ask Him for courage to always do what He wants us to do.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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