Skip to main content

Jesus could reduce the whole law to one word: love, but we fool ourselves if we think we can do the same. That one word must be fleshed out in many ways. Here are three examples from Scripture.

(1) John asked Jesus if He were the Christ. Jesus did not say yes or no, He said, "Look at how I relate to people with disabilities and decide for yourself" (Matthew 11:3-5). When people look at how we or our church relate to people with disabilities, excluding and segregating them, or just sentimentalizing about them would they decide for themselves we were followers of Christ?

(2) We often mislabel the Parable of the Incapacitated or Disabled Traveler, calling it instead the Parable of the Good Samaritan because we, like the lawyer, want to justify ourselves. In the church there are those who do good works, like the Samaritan, and those who do not, like the Priest and the Levite. Too often the church is more like some other characters in that story, namely, the thieves who beat and robbed the man and left him incapacitated. We disable people by the way we use our computers and sound systems and by some aspects of our architecture such as heavy inside doors. We could enable instead of disable by printing and projecting accessible text, making large print signs, by building accessible Web sites, by installing an ear loop, and by using inside doors that a person who is frail or who uses a walker or wheel chair could open. We could be like Christ instead of being like the thieves (Luke 10: 25-37).

(3) Jesus asked the leaders of the synagogue if it were lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, but that was a trick question. Some things that were good and some that were harmful were lawful and others unlawful. The standard was not whether the activity helped anyone. The only thing that mattered to the Jews was what the law said was a lawful Sabbath day activity. Jesus introduced the higher standard of helping and not harming someone on the Sabbath. Today religious leaders adhere to other ungodly standards - the secular philosophy or law of utility and practicality.. Whatever works and reaches the most people for the least cost is good and never mind the ones Jesus specifically said to bring to our feasts of Worship and the Word (Luke 14:13). Jesus was grieved and angered at their hardness of hearts (Mark 3:1-6).

The specific application of the Word may change somewhat over the centuries, but the above three are true expository interpretations of the Word of God and stand in stark contrast to the heresy or self-interest that is commonly preached. The Americans with Disabilities Act, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and other similar laws exist because of hard hearts. Hard heartedness and conformity to the world is most often the cause of disability discrimination and often renounced in the Bible and by Reformers like Calvin. People’s false belief that they are following Christ must be challenged when they engage in disability discrimination. They must be challenged not just for the good of the people they hurt, but for the salvation of those who are causing the pain (see Matt 25:31-46). We can help not just the 20 percent with disabilities, but also the 80 without disabilities as well.


Let's Discuss

We love your comments! Thank you for helping us uphold the Community Guidelines to make this an encouraging and respectful community for everyone.

Login or Register to Comment

We want to hear from you.

Connect to The Network and add your own question, blog, resource, or job.

Add Your Post