The Holy Spirit Doesn’t Need Your Help.

In Mark 2 Jesus’ disciples were accused by the Pharisees of violating the Sabbath by picking and eating grain.

Were the disciples conscious of the fact that technically they were violating the Sabbath? The Law forbid harvesting on the Sabbath but what the disciples were doing was not what the Law had in mind. It was not the original intent of the Law, a basic rule of hermeneutics, i.e. what was the original intent of the author?

Over time, Jewish law added things to God’s law and these additions eventually became as important as God’s law… almost indistinguishable. All the Law said was don’t work on the Sabbath, the Sabbath is a day of rest. A few examples of “work” were given but not many.

As man began to further define “work” he would get himself into trouble but it didn’t seem so at the time. We usually don’t see ourselves adding to God’s word at the time. It is unnoticed, seems innocent, makes sense to us.

Most of our additions revolve around our “application” of the Scriptures to our lives and the lives of those who listen to us teach. What do the Scriptures say? What do the Scriptures mean? How then is that meaning intended to be applied to my/our situation?

We seem reluctant or scared to let the people listening to us come to their own application. We don’t trust the person or (subconsciously of course) don’t trust the Holy Spirit.

I think it’s clearly the job of pastors and teachers to help parishioners see what the Bible says and what the Bible means. Where we must show restraint is in our suggestion or the insistence of our (which can be confused with God’s) application of the Scriptures. Where have I added to the Scriptures? Are there opinions I hold that have become as important to me as the Scriptures from which they came? Can I trust the Holy Spirit to speak the application to those who hear me?