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Rescuing from a pit

    Luke 14:5-“Then He answered them, saying, ‘which of you, having a DONKEY or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?’”

  The word “Donkey” here is actually translated more accurately as “son” in the Context Bible- but the word in the original Greek is “onos” which is referred to in Strong’s as “apparently a primary root- donkey” Therefore, it is not entirely known what the real meaning of the Greek word “onos” is although donkey seems to flow better with the “ox” reference later in the sentence. One can, however, pose the argument that Jesus actually said “son” and “ox” in this sentence in order to show the Lawyers and Pharisees that God values each of His creatures enough to save them from destruction and that the Pharisees and Lawyers, from their hearts should realize that they are just as valuable to God as anyone else and even as valuable as an ox! It is very often that we who have accepted our salvation become inwardly judgmental of those who haven’t or of those who are not a spiritually mature as we ourselves are.

In our hearts, we see people struggling with this sin or that addiction and we say to ourselves, they need to get saved or go to Bible study or they need to spend more time in the word, or we say that they obviously have missed it somewhere and are doing the wrong thing. These types of judgments, albeit subtle, are the most insidious. For they do not seem like judgmental thoughts or statements at all but as the truth. Each of these statements may or may not be true with regard to the saved or unsaved but what is important is not their validity, it is our opinion of the effect they have on the person in question. We were not saved by any of our own actions. For it is through grace by faith we have been saved and that {faith} not of ourselves; it {faith and salvation} is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. {Eph 2:8} So to adduce that a person that has not accepted Jesus’ atonement for their sin should and do anything but act contrary to God is both wrong and judgmental. As well, once a person is redeemed and they continue to struggle, the proper response is to wash that brother or sister with the word of God. In particular, the word we should use to restore them can be specific to their situation but in general should be that; first, how you first received salvation is how you receive all of the benefits of salvation according to Colossians 2:6; and second that God will not allow someone-anyone- to be tempted beyond what they are able and will ALWAYS provide a way of escape { 1 Corinthians 10:13 }. These two verses when considered together instruct us that if we see a brother or sister sinning we must pray to God for specific words for them and then we must restore them in a spirit of gentleness by teaching them that they can receive their need met through God the same way they received salvation- they do not have to keep trying to get what they need somewhere else. As well they must be taught that the mere fact that they are being tempted to fall back into the same pattern indicates they are mature enough, able enough to resist the temptation by recognizing and using the way of escape provided by our Lord.

In either case, if we approach those who we see struggling whether in or out of the body of Christ with the above goals and knowledge, then we are pulling out sons {donkeys} and oxen out of the pit on the day we should- the Sabbath which is Jesus Christ!

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