Friday, February 16, 2007
“Then Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, "Get up and stand in front of everyone." So he got up and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, "I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?" He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He did so, and his hand was completely restored. But they were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.” (Lu 6:5-11 NIVUS)
Jesus always upsets religious people. By religious I mean those who create a God in their likeness and then set up an entire moral and ethical system that conforms to the God they have created. Such were the Pharisees of Jesus day. They had turned 10 commandments into hundreds of rules. They had turned a merciful God of covenant relationship into a God of detached ceremonialism. So to the Pharisees the legalistic observance of Sabbath was more important than the health and well being of a human being. Jesus boldly confronted this false legalistic religion. He healed the man. He performed a true miracle in growing the withered hand into a full healthy hand.
The reaction was predictable. Rather than rejoicing in the restored health of the man as well as the miracle working power of God, they become furious. In their fury they begin to plot the death of Jesus. Why would they react this way? Because their god has been destroyed. They are like the prophets of Baal that were defeated by Elijah. Be very aware that you or I can become just like the Pharisees. To avoid falling into this trap of Satan, let us stay in the scriptures and see God, as He is, not how we want Him to be.