My husband’s favorite scene in The Avengers is when Loki challenges the Hulk, saying, “I am a god you dull creature! And I will not be bullied by…”

At which point the Hulk grabs him by the feet and whomps him back and forth a few times. As the Hulk walks away from Loki, now gasping on the floor in pain, he says, “Puny god.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30lGrarz3MQ)

I thought of that the other day when I read Luke 6. Jesus was teaching in the temple and the Pharisees were watching like vultures.  They were hoping “to catch him in a Sabbath infraction” by healing a man in the crowd with a crippled right hand. However, “He knew what they were up to and spoke to the man with the crippled hand: ‘Get up and stand here before us.’ He did.

No doubt Jesus had to resist the urge to grab one of them by the feet and whomp them back and forth a few times? Just who did they think they were anyway, trying to catch Him breaking the rules? I know I would have pulled a Hulk move!

Instead, “Jesus addressed them, ‘Let me ask you something: What kind of action suits the Sabbath best? Doing good or doing evil? Helping people or leaving them helpless?’He looked around, looked each one in the eye. He said to the man, ‘Hold out your hand.’ He held it out—it was as good as new!” (Luke 6:6-11, Message)

And what was their reaction? Were they humble? Mute? Did they lay on the ground moaning like Loki as the all-powerful God made an exit? The rest of verse eleven says, “They were beside themselves with anger, and started plotting how they might get even with him.

When Jesus was crucified they thought they had won; they thought they were the ones with the answers. Three days later, He proved what puny gods they were. As He said on a similar occasion: “The Son of Man is no slave to the Sabbath; he’s in charge”(Luke 6:5).

I was feeling pretty smug that I’m not guilty of trying to catch God breaking the rules, until I asked Him, What do you want to show me in this passage, Lord?  The answer was immediate. I am a puny god.

I may not blatantly seek to discredit the Lord, or try to trap Him, but when I argue with Him about the very truths He has put into place, I set myself up as a god in competition with Him. And I look as foolish as Loki or the Pharisees did. That includes debating with God about His rules for living, the nature of creation, what will happen in the future, or even putting myself down as having no value. Even in that, I argue with His sovereignty and declared wisdom.

So instead of trying to second guess the Lord, I’m working on bowing and following orders instead. Why not? That’s when people get healed and the power of sin is defeated.