It’s always fascinating to learn the collective nouns for groups of animals. Most people are familiar with ‘a pride of lions’, but did you know about ‘a bike of bees’ or ‘a congregation of alligators’? Luke 6 is so full of questions that we might call it ‘a chapter of questions’!

Some of these deal with Jesus’s response to the Pharisees, whose attitude towards the Sabbath (defining almost everything as ‘unlawful’, even healing and doing good) was definitely more concerned with their idea of right than God’s. Jesus’s questions to them reminded them of God’s ultimate purpose (referring them back to 1 Samuel 21 when David ate the consecrated bread, even though he was not a priest) and He told them bluntly, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.’ (Mark 2:27) Later, when challenged about healing a man on the Sabbath, he asked, ‘which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?’ (Luke 6:9) It’s a sad indictment of the Pharisees that such a question needed to be asked.

These two episodes remind us that it’s very easy to become self-righteous and to place a higher value on our own rules and regulations than on God’s. We need to be sure that our compliance with man’s rules does not actually break God’s rules. Sometimes, we may need to break man’s rules in order to be true to God’s rules: as the apostles said, ‘We must obey God rather than human beings!’ (Acts 5:29)