Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” 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. 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. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
In the previous passage Jesus proclaimed that he was the Lord of the Sabbath and that the Sabbath was made for man. In this passage we see the total perversion that the Sabbath had become to the Jews. Enter in with me if you will to a place of worship where it is not lawful to heal a human being. Can you even relate to a "House of God" where such harness of heart exists. In what universe would anyone tolerate such a display of callousness?
Sadly this type of callous religion exists even today. Society is rife with stories of spiritual abuse by leaders who allow religious rules to trump the well being of those committed to their charge. I think that many things done in the name of religion break the heart of God. In contrast there are many who, like Jesus, do not kowtow to external rules but follow the internal leading of the Holy Spirit. Against such there is no law - even on the Sabbath.
Help me Lord to reject external rules and hear clearly the leading of your Spirit in my heart.