When a player goes down in soccer and appears to be injured, what happens? Whoever has the ball promptly kicks the ball over the touch line and play stops.
In youth soccer, both teams are coached to “take a knee” on the field, when play is resumed with a throw in, if the opposing team kicked it out to suspend play, the ball is courteously thrown to them. This is all a sign of respect and sportsmanship, it goes beyond the rules.
In Jesus’ day, the pharisees were the rule keepers; they sought to live by the laws of Moses and their ancestors. The pharisees were the moral conscience of their day. Yet, they clashed with Jesus time and time again. That’s because Jesus sought to challenge them, and us, to go beyond the rules. !Jesus wanted open hearts that take us beyond the rules!
If we follow rules we have more control than if we follow our hearts. If we follow our hearts, we can be more vulnerable to the slings and arrows of others, of this world. Life with open hearts becomes more difficult and more dangerous. ?Where did Jesus end his life?
So, when others are hurting do we kick the ball out of bounds, do you stop business as usual? I hope so. Scriptures of both Old and New Testaments speak of God being with the hurting of this world. That’s where we need to be too as we follow our hearts and go beyond the rules.