3 Another time Jesus went into the synagogue. A man with a weak and twisted hand was there. 2 Some Pharisees were trying to find fault with Jesus. They watched him closely. They wanted to see if he would heal the man on the Sabbath day. 3 Jesus spoke to the man with the weak and twisted hand. “Stand up in front of everyone,” he said. 4 Then Jesus asked them, “What does the Law say we should do on the Sabbath day? Should we do good? Or should we do evil? Should we save life? Or should we kill?” But no one answered. 5 Jesus looked around at them in anger. He was very upset because their hearts were stubborn. Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand had become as good as new. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to make plans with the Herodians. They wanted to kill Jesus.
Jesus is continuing to change the mindset/worldview those following him – in this case the Pharisees & those in the Synagogue – ones who knew the scriptures, ones who were supposed to know God. Jesus is re-framing their understanding of the Sabbath and God. The questions Jesus asks only have one answer – answers that the Pharisees knew to be right but have become so restricted & rigid in keeping rules and trying to be right, they couldn’t bring themselves to respond .. sadly, they miss the heart of God, miss the humanity of helping another in need.
The challenge afresh to me is am I still open to Jesus showing me where my thinking, understanding or life has become narrow or restricted in the ‘way’ my faith is lived? Do I miss the heart of God for others because of my need to be right, am I really following Jesus in the way He would have me go?
Lord I want to keep my heart soft to your ways and your heart and not restricted to legalism. Help me not miss ways in which I can help others into your presence, healing and rest.
Written by Suzie Hodgson