[ uhb-zur-vuhnt ]
1. quick to notice or perceive; alert.
2. looking at, watching, or regarding attentively; watchful.
3. careful in the observing of a law, custom, religious ritual, or the like.
4. an observer of law or rule.
5. (initial capital letter) Also Ob·ser·van·tine [ob-zur-vuhn-tin, -teen]. a member of a Franciscan order that observes the strict rule of St. Francis.
I want to concentrate on the fourth definition today, “an observer of law or rule”.
As it is recorded in Luke 6 the observant Jews (aka Pharisees) often had what I would call awkward interactions with Jesus.
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” Jesus answered them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry?He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” So he got up and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored.
But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus. – Luke 6:1-11
So, what is more important, strict observance of man-made laws (the world) or to be obedient and show God’s love in ALL situations? For me it’s the latter.
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