3 Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” 4 Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. 5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.
Jesus challenged the Pharisees who thought that good deeds, such as healing, were forbidden on the Sabbath. As He questioned in verse 4, “…Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” He tried to change their attitudes, however the Pharisees did not respond. Even though Jesus healed the man with the deformed hand, the hearts of the Pharisees remained hard and they continued to turn their backs on Him.
This passage provokes me to think about the times my heart is hard towards God – when do I miss the ‘attitude shift’ that He is directing me to? I don’t want to have a stubborn view like the Pharisees did, but want a softened heart that hears and responds to where Jesus is leading me.
God, Thank You that Your ways are perfect. Please soften my heart today, and show me how to live in a way that pleases You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Written by Laura Samperi