Be generous in grace
Luke 11: 45-46 “One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.” Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.”
V41 “… be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.”
Be generous in grace
If we see a burden as something that is a heavy weight which is too much for any one person to carry (hence Paul saying we should carry one another’s) and a load as a responsibility (which Paul said we should carry on our own) then we see what the Pharisees were doing.
The heavy weight was the failure of not reaching the expectations of pleasing God.
There are 613 do’s and don’ts in the Law of Moses.
But then the Mishnah contains more commandments. This was a commentary on those 613 laws which had further man-made rules which served to help people not even come close to breaking the Law of Moses. At the time of Christ these were passed down the generations verbally, it would not be till the 3rd century were they written down. They were not laws, the intention was to train in thinking through the law. So the Mishnah tries to help the questions regarding: Can cheese and meat be on the same table? How much water is needed for a ritual bath? The punishment of a rebellious son is clearly in the Law however, what are the behaviours that actually make a son rebellious? That’s what the Mishnah helps with. They served as oral laws and Jesus denounced the Pharisees who were more interested in having the appearance of keeping the Law of Moses rather than understanding the message behind the Law.
Without going any further, we can already see that trying to accomplish all this would easily create burdens.
The ordinary Jew failed and continued to fail in pleasing God and there was no one to help them.
Let us be different.
Let us be generous in our grace towards people. Maybe we need to tear up our own rule book? Cultural norms that may have the intention of good can do more harm to those who do not meet them. Tear them up. Be gracious. Relationship with Jesus not the rules of Jesus is the most important thing. We don’t get married and then ask what are the rules of marriage? The order of marriage comes out of relationship and so with Jesus.
For those who feel they have failed, give them a generous hand, they understand condemnation so we don’t need to teach them that, they don’t understand grace.
If you are in leadership, be generous, open your fist, nail your hand to the cross, lay your life down generously so that others can thrive from the failure. Be generous in grace and it will go well for you.