Moral or Ethical Dilemma: Do the right thing, even when it is tough.


At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat. But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, ‘Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.’ But He said to them, ‘Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions, how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent? But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. But if you had known what this means, “I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,” you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.’

Departing from there, He went into their synagogue. And a man was there whose hand was withered. And they questioned Jesus, asking, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’—so that they might accuse Him. And He said to them, ‘What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.’ Then He said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand!’ He stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other. But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.”  Matthew 12:1-14 (NASB)


The Pharisees were out to get Jesus.  They watched his mentees, waiting for a moment when they would do something wrong.  They set up difficult situations in which it seemed that no matter how Jesus could respond he would be condemned.  They wanted to trick up Jesus so that they could destroy him.

But Jesus didn’t let it get under his skin.  He responded by using the Law, the very thing the Pharisees were using against Jesus, to reveal both his and his followers innocence. He gave examples from everyday life that showed the Pharisees that they did the very same things for which they tried to condemn him.  Jesus moved forward in doing good and doing the right thing even though by doing the right thing he seemed to be moving even deeper into their trap, but because he was doing the right thing they could not use it to destroy him.

I don’t know what your circumstances are like at work or school right now, but I do know that whatever they are it is worth the cost to do the morally and ethically right thing, even if it is difficult.  You are not alone.  God is with you.  Jesus has been there and done that.  He has faced the adversity and continued to do what was right.  As Jesus said, “it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”  It is good and right to do the right thing.  Go ahead, do it!

Prayer: Lord of the Sabbath and Lord of everyday of the week, Help me to live each day in a manner that is honoring to you.  Help me to do the right thing today, tomorrow, and on into the future.  Thank you for not leaving me alone and for giving me the strength to do what is right. Amen.

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