6 On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. 7 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. 8 But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” So he got up and stood there. 9 Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” 10 He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored. 11 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.
Jesus’ passion for people is amazing – helping the man was more important to Him than sticking to “the rules”. When the rules got in the way He went back to God’s purpose for the instruction. Good vs evil, healing vs not healing, work vs not work – what would God want in that situation? Jesus cared so much for the man with the deformed hand that he decided to challenge the way the authorities saw the world and help the man to do life better.
And what about the man with the deformed hand? Can you imagine the situation? He was in the congregation in church when Jesus was teaching. Jesus saw him and his hand and called him to stand in front of everyone. So imagine how that would have felt. He could have just stayed where he was or walked out or pretended Jesus wasn’t talking to him but he did walk out and stand in front. That was pretty brave. He could probably feel the eyes of the Pharisees on him and Jesus – their anger and their rules. Not the most friendly place.
How do I react in unfriendly situations? I need to remember why I am there and keep my eyes on Jesus.
Written by Therese Manning