When the music fades
6 On another Sabbath Jesus was teaching in a Jewish meeting place, and a man with a crippled right hand was there. 7 Some Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses kept watching Jesus to see if he would heal the man. They did this because they wanted to accuse Jesus of doing something wrong. 8 Jesus knew what they were thinking. So he told the man to stand up where everyone could see him. And the man stood up. 9 Then Jesus asked, "On the Sabbath should we do good deeds or evil deeds? Should we save someone's life or destroy it?" 10 After he had looked around at everyone, he told the man, "Stretch out your hand." He did, and his bad hand became completely well. 11 The teachers and the Pharisees were furious and started saying to each other, "What can we do about Jesus?"
This is another place where You broke the Sabbath, Lord. What were you really trying to teach us by this interchange with a man with a crippled right hand and the religious leaders.
The fact that this man who was physically challenged was in the synagogue on Sabbath said something about his desire to seek after God. Those who were sick or had a limitation were seen as judged by God. It was assumed that they must have sinned to be in that condition. You could see his heart couldn’t you, Lord. You knew his desire to find all that You had for him.
I wonder if this man kept his hand hidden so it couldn’t be seen, and yet everyone knew. Everyone was watching Jesus is to see if he would heal on the Sabbath day.
No one was more aware of the trxture of the situation than this man, whose life had been impacted by a hand that did not work the way it was supposed to. Had this been something that he struggle with all his life? Was this an injury that occurred? What career options were closed to him? Who had avoided relationship with him because he was crippled? What did it cost him to have this disability? Was he angry at you for his loss? Yet here he was in the meeting place where people seeking after God would gather.
You knew the thoughts and the intentions of all the people who were present that day…you knew what the teachers were thinking…you saw the trap. More than that, you saw this man and his need, his desire to be whole. I am sure that you knew the journey that lead this man to this synagogue on this Sabbath.
Jesus, did the callousness of the crowd that day hurt your heart? What was the point of Sabbath? It was the day that had been set aside for worship and rest. The point had been incrusted with tradition and rules. Right here you began to show the real reason for Sabbath…it was to do the good that is available to do.
It is very interesting to me that these men who were looking to accuse you Lord, could not heal anytime…whether it was Sabbath or not. Yet they found fault with you for doing what they could not do. It is also interesting that this is one of those times where you never mentioned that this man’s sins were forgiven. Maybe this hurt that this unnamed man carried was there just so you could heal him. I wonder how many times a day he looked at that hand after this incident and remembered what you had done for him on that Sabbath day.
Lord, what is the application? Maybe…People are more important than making a point. No one should be a means to an end. Lord Jesus, remind me in this day that You are bigger than my ways of thinking about You. You have a plan even in those areas where I am crippled. The reason for my need is found in Your touch.