6 On another sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. 7 The scribes and the Pharisees watched him to see whether he would cure on the sabbath, so that they might find an accusation against him. 8 Even though he knew what they were thinking, he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” He got up and stood there. 9 Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to destroy it?” 10 After looking around at all of them, he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was restored. 11 But they were filled with fury and discussed 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