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Grace Love Mercy

Matthew 12:1-2 – You Don’t Have To Swim Between The Flags

Here is the revelation that is shaping my life today – Jesus is not a Pharisee law enforcer, he is a life saver.
Matthew 12:1-2 NLT
[1] At about that time Jesus was walking through some grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, so they began breaking off some heads of grain and eating them. [2] But some Pharisees saw them do it and protested, “Look, your disciples are breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath.”


Wherever there is law there must be law enforcers. A law not enforced is a suggestion at best. But when there is law, then the law enforcers are always lurking to catch you out. They are always protesting that the law has been broken and the law breaker must be punished. And for the Pharisee’s punishment is all-around acceptance. If you break their law you are unacceptable to enter the temple, unacceptable to God. It’s a big stick they wield. The Pharisees were religious police. They made the laws, and they enforced the laws. Take away their laws and they are lost. Lost of power, position and privilege. So enforcement of the law is personal.
But Jesus walks onto their stage and challenges their laws. He breaks their laws to show a deeper purpose of the law. And finally, he closes their law books and says “God no longer uses the law as a means of righteousness, as a determination of acceptance.” He takes away their stick and closes the chapter on human history where relationship with God was determined by behavioural obedience.
Jesus is more like a lifeguard. Swim between the flags because that is the safest place to swim. There is no law enforcement so people can swim anywhere they like. The life savers save, regardless of where you swim, and regardless of how many times you need saving, they save. Their saving is not based on your good behaviour, swim between the flags, actually, they save when you behave badly and swim outside the flags. Their saving is based on them being a lifesaver. Jesus says “I have come to save the world, not judge it.” And this is what he does. He shows us where the flags are, he shows us where life is lived to the fullest, but he saves us no matter where we swim. No law enforcement, just a saviour who only ever saves. It is so sad that we dress Jesus in the religious garb of the Pharisees when he is so much more at home in his budgie smugglers.


Never will I live by law. I will walk intimately with Jesus so I know where the best place to live life, but when I live outside of that, as I do so often, I will not look to pay any penalty for law-breaking, I will only ever receive the saviour as he swims to my rescue.


Thank you for putting an end to the law as a means of being made right, I would never know righteousness if this was the way. Thank you for saving, making me and keeping me right with God, no matter how I choose to live my life. Thank you for showing me the flags but not enforcing where I swim. I love the way you love and save.


Meditate – no more laws, no more law enforcement.
Do you allow Jesus to come and save you when you swim outside his ways, or do you expect a law enforcer to come and pass judgement?
Do you celebrate being saved, or do you feel ashamed that you have been caught in a rip outside the flags?