Daily Devotional Saturday 15th August 2020by William Moody
A Man with a Withered Hand
3:1 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. 2 And they watched Jesus,1 to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” 4 And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
It is really sad, there was the real possibility of seeing Jesus doing something wonderful for this man with the withered hand (v1-2), but all these people wanted to do was to find fault and to accuse Jesus. Beware of a critical spirit.
For Jesus the Sabbath was about loving and caring for people (v4). The Sabbath was Jesus’ favourite day for bringing healing onto people’s lives. What a wonderful thought this is as we come to God in worship! We’re coming into the presence of the God who delights to heal broken lives.
Jesus’ attitude was in stark contrast to the Pharisees who had their many rules but so little love in their hearts (v5a). Their agenda was more important than people in need.
Now we see how the Pharisees chose to use their Sabbath Day (v6). In their mind it was wrong for Jesus to heal yet they go to condemn.
Is your heart like the Pharisees full of bitterness and accusation, or like Christ’s, full of love and mercy? Pray sincerely about this.
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