Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.
Jesus could not abide religious laws with no purpose; he fought against the rules and requirements that kept more people out and suited the leaders. This passage is one of the occasions when you can almost feel his rage.
At first reading of "a shrivelled hand" it might not sound like much, certainly something that could hold on a day. But Jesus' response about life and death tends to suggest otherwise; perhaps the man had gangrene or some other ailment which put his life at risk. He knew it needed healing and that's what he did.
This was the start of the hate campaign against Jesus; the establishment couldn't deal with him any more and resorted to getting him removed. Did Jesus know this would happen? Did he know it was the plan? Would he have done the same anyway? I think so; he stood up for what he knew to be right. Do we?
Jesus you shook the system, broke the age old rules, brought light and sense to the dark. We thank you for your example and ask for courage to similar where needed. Amen