Do you ever just shake your head over some of the rules you find in business, or other parts of life for that matter. They just don’t make any sense. What sort of dummy would ever dream up some of these silly, but restricting rules?
The Pharisees were the interpreters and keepers of Mosaic Law. Don’t you suppose many, probably most, of the “commoners” in Jewish communities just shook their heads over some of these rules and how they were interpreted and applied? They had to ask “what sort of dummy would ever dream up some of these silly, restricting rules?”
A few years ago I was working in a retail store selling expensive specialty goods. Now, in many retail establishments, overtime is an absolute no-no. (Sorta like doing work on the Sabbath) I had a store manager who would stretch us to our allowed weekly hours by Thursday or Friday, then couldn’t understand why we were not available to work when the customers came on weekends. Afterall, he would argue, the week’s preparation was all to get ready to take care of the customer, customer service. This fellow was a really smart guy! What a dummy.
One night, the last of the work week, I was concluding a MAJOR sale just before closing. This particular sale accounted for over 10% of the store’s total weekly sales. It was a big deal for a very good customer. BUT, I worked 15 minutes of overtime.
Now, I could have clocked out, concluded the sale and all would have been fine. But the previous week I had been “written up” and put on probation for working off the clock for doing the very same thing. I was in a bit of a pickle. So I finished the sale and clocked out about 10 minutes late (we rounded to the nearest qtr hour). It was a “gotcha” moment.
First thing when I arrived at work the next day, I was called into the manager’s office. “You worked overtime. Zero overtime means zero overtime.”
I tried to explain to him just what had happened, even pulled up the previous night’s sales reports.
“Zero overtime means zero overtime.” I got written up.
I asked for some training. ‘Boss, I need you to teach me how to look in a customer’s eyes and tell him ‘screw you, I’m going home.'”
He didn’t like that much, thought I was being surly. Guess he was right.
I left that job soon after. You see, I never got the requested training.
Guess Jesus was a bit surly with the Pharisees, too. He didn’t wash His hands when He was supposed to. He performed work on the Sabbath. He basically called them a bunch of dummies. (Isnt’ that a synonym for hypocrite?)
Jesus was particularly hard on the Pharisees, much more so than the Sadducees. The Pharisees were the experts, keepers and interpreters of The Law. They were the “rule makers.” They kept a close eye on the rules while totally ignoring the reason behind the rules. “Judgement rather than justice” under The Law. More than anyone, the Pharisees should have known better. Dumb, dumb, dumb!
We all have rules. We either follow them or enforce them.
But we should never forget what the rule is all about.
Alive in the Word