In the study of Matthew 22 and 23, we were asked how to be real in all that we do, instead of like the Pharisee’s who were in for a good dose of ‘woe’ because they hurt rather than helped the people when they came to the Temple. The question that formed in me was, ‘how do you use your hands to love one another?’
In Jesus’ day the “religious” leaders would make life difficult for everyone. Their minds were full of lists, regulations and rules, but their hearts were far away. Abusing those who came to the Temple was common, like extracting excess money for offerings supplied by the authorities because the people’s offerings were not good enough. The Pharisees would, ” tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them,” from Matthew 23:4. If they wouldn’t lift a finger, their love was a noun and not a verb.
This got me thinking about how we use our hands to help instead of hurt those around us. Instead of looking good outwardly, knowing and following all the rules, liking being recognized in public, trying to out-perform each other, tithing yet cheating people out of justice, mercy and faithfulness, why not do what is good in God’s eyes instead of trying to be looked up to by lowly man? Instead of shutting people down, why not welcome them by giving them grace, mercy and the keys to the kingdom? Give to both God and people, for He is the one who has done the inside cleansing so we can be clean on the outside and alive in Christ, wanting to serve others.
Here are a few ways to use your hands to fulfill the greatest commandment from Matthew 22:37-40.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
How are you practicing? What are you doing with your hands? I’d love to hear from you.