Saturday, June 23, 2007

Anything for an Ox

Doubtless you have heard the expression, "I had an ox in the ditch" or some variation of it. It is just another saying that man has taken from the Bible and shaped to suit his own purposes. In most instances today, it is merely an excuse. "An excuse is a skin of truth stretched over a lie." That's what an aged Sunday School teacher told me, and I believe she was right.

Many times this expression is used in regards to missing church or being late getting there. Oh they will elaborate and say something about having to run an errand before church and......and..... It is in all the explanation that you find the truth of the matter. Something else took priority over attending the house of God. Does it really take both parents and all the siblings to care for one puny child? Couldn't they have filled up the car before the service?

And Jesus answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? Luke 14:5

In the original context, getting the ox out of a pit was considered work and thus broke the Law of the Sabbath. Yet having mercy on the animal outweighed the penalty of the Law. Jesus had just healed a man of dropsy. It was the Sabbath. The Pharisees looked on him with disdain. Jesus used this example to expose the weakness of the Law, highlight the supremacy of mercy, and shut the mouths of the religious critics.

Showing mercy to an ox is an attribute we all should have. If we see a fellow ox in the ditch then we should act immediately. Don't wait for the elders to pray for them on Sunday. Don't wait until their struggles have zapped all their strength. Don't wait until they are covered in mud or the water is over their heads. Jesus would not wait, so why should we?

By the way, be sure to check out the reader's comments on the previous post. Good stuff.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

sorry I haven't been by, but my ox was tired and couldn't get out of the ditch to turn the computer on this weekend. but i did make it to church and on time. Thanks for taking care of the kid, or else I might have not made it. LOL>

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