Luke 13:14-15 - But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, "There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day." Then the Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it?"
Twenty-nine-year-old, two-tour veteran of Iraq, Taylor Winston is a truck thief.
That being said, we need to add, Taylor Winston is a very, very special truck thief. This is his story. Winston was dancing with his girlfriend near the stage when rapid fire shots rang out at the Las Vegas concert. Like thousands of others who were there, he ran for cover. Actually, he ran toward some trucks that were parked on the other side of a fence; one of those trucks still had its keys.
When the shots stopped, Winston drove his stolen truck back to the venue.
There he loaded into the truck the worst wounded people he could find and raced them to Desert Springs Hospital Center. In the stolen truck, he went back for another load of wounded, and then another, and yet another.
Altogether, Winston thinks he took somewhere between 20 and 30 people to the hospital in his stolen truck. Now there is a reason I keep mentioning the fact that Winston's truck was stolen.
The truth is stealing a truck is a violation of the law. It is grand theft. I think we all have to agree: stealing trucks is something which is just plain wrong.
Now, my question before you is this: if you were the owner of that truck, would you press charges against Winston? If you were a policeman, would you arrest him for the law he had broken? If you were the district attorney, would you call a press conference and say that you were going to prosecute Winston to the fullest extent of the law?
I don't think so. Why? Because while Winston may not have followed the letter of the Nevada law, he certainly understood, and followed, the Lord's law of love. Anybody who understands that understands the story from which our text is taken.
Jesus had come across a woman who had been disabled for 18 years and had healed her.
Seeing that, the head of the synagogue got all unglued. He told everyone who would listen that healings should be done Sunday through Friday, but not on the Sabbath. Hearing what was being said, Jesus set things straight by saying, "If you fellows can take care of your animals on the Sabbath, I can take care of God's needy children."
And, I guess that means there are times the spirit of love can trump the niceties of the law. It means if the Lord can take care of a crippled lady on the Sabbath, Taylor Winston can rush some wounded, bleeding, and dying people to the hospital in a stolen truck.
Oh, you should know, Winston returned the stolen truck on Monday.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, it often takes humankind's worst to show us humankind's best. I give thanks that even as one man was taking lives, many people were trying to save them. I also rejoice that I have a Savior who lived and died to rescue the souls of all humanity from sin, the devil, and death. In His Name I pray. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written for RARE on October 3, 2017. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: click here.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries