14 But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? 16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” 17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.
The hypocrite’s logic is twisted. He is happy to help an animal on the Sabbath but wants Jesus to wait another day to heal a woman. He is happy to help himself on the Sabbath but not for others to be helped. Or maybe they could be helped but only within the boundaries that he has set on what is allowed on the Sabbath. This seems perfectly logical to the hypocrite because he is committed to the religious systems no matter what. He has chosen the system ahead of God Himself. Logical to the hypocrite, crazy to Jesus.
Am I a hypocrite? Am I so committed to a system of religious practices and behaviours that it prevents me loving God and others? Is my system moving me further away from God rather than towards him? Do my preferences at church drive a wedge in between me and those I'm supposed to be loving? Do my rules make me look more like Jesus or more like the hypocrites?
Look to Jesus. Recognise that, left to our own devices, our lives and even our religious systems will be self-centered. Repent and allow the grace of God to set you free to love God and love others.