Matthew 12:1-21, Mark 3, Luke 6
One of the common events told throughout each of these books is about one of the miracles Jesus performed on Sabbath. A man with a withered hand sat among those listening to Jesus, and Jesus called him up to the front of the room.
These were people who viciously followed the law even to the point of cruelty. They didn’t want Jesus to heal the man’s crippled hand because the day happened to be the Sabbath. In their eyes, healing constituted forbidden work.
Yet Jesus exposed their hypocrisy by asking questions: which of them would refuse to rescue a sheep that fell in a well even if it happened on the Sabbath? All of them would work to rescue their livestock…yet these same people would not want a crippled person “rescued” (healed) on the Sabbath. They valued their property more than they valued human life!
Don’t these same attitudes pervade our society today? If not about the Sabbath, then about something else? We have an entire criminal justice system that has harsher penalties for bank robbery than it does for murder or assault. Although Jesus was illustrating the fact that He is Lord of the Sabbath, he also exposed the condition of the human heart…a fact he repeated later on when he said, in Luke 6:
What you say flows from what is in your heart.
It’s another reminder that I need the Holy Spirit to not only heal my body, but also the condition of my heart.