9 And after he departed from there, he entered their synagogue.
10 And see, a man was there with a deformed hand. And they questioned him, saying “Is it allowed on the Sabbath to heal?”- in order to accuse him.
11 But he said to them, “Which man among you has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out?
12 Then, how much more valuable is a man than a sheep! So it is allowed to do good on the Sabbath.”
13 Then he said to the man, “Extend your hand.” And the man extended it, and it was restored, complete like the other.
healing on the Sabbath
The religious professionals thought that they had found Jesus’ flaw. He was visiting a synagogue, and there was a man there with a deformed hand. The problem was obvious, and they knew Jesus would not avoid it. If he healed the man, he would be breaking the Sabbath taboo. No work on the Sabbath meant no help for this man. If Jesus obeyed the cultural norm, he would be denying who he was.
Notice the reason Jesus chose to heal that day. He pointed out to these critics that even they would rescue their property from danger on a Sabbath day. Doing good – especially the good of rescuing the hurting – is never outside of God’s will. God is less interested in our ritual purity and more interested in our caring for each other. Caring for people is his heart.
LORD, may we never neglect the opportunities we have to bring wholeness and healing into the lives of those who hurt. May even our religious habits never get in the way of showing your heart for the broken among us.