A Judas goat is a goat trained for leading animals to specific pens or onto trucks, and most notably, for leading sheep to slaughter, even while preserving their own life. Some traditions are like Judas goats. They can lead us to miss the real purpose of a ritual–to our hurt. Jesus often made that clear while He was here on earth. Religious leaders were so hung up on their traditions that they missed God’s intended purpose. We read this in Luke 14: “One Sabbath day Jesus went to eat dinner in the home of a leader of the Pharisees, and the people were watching him closely. There was a man there whose arms and legs were swollen. Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in religious law, ‘Is it permitted in the law to heal people on the Sabbath day, or not?’ When they refused to answer, Jesus touched the sick man and healed him and sent him away. Then he turned to them and said, ‘Which of you doesn’t work on the Sabbath? If your son or your cow falls into a pit, don’t you rush to get him out?’” They could not answer. Jesus did not let tradition stop Him from helping needy people, even on the Sabbath. Neither should we let tradition stop us from doing good.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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