When Jesus left the field, he entered their meeting place. There was a man there with a crippled hand. They said to Jesus, “Is it legal to heal on the Sabbath?” They were baiting him. [Matthew 12:10 MSG]
Can you imagine coming to an emergency room and finding it closed because it is Sunday?
That would make no more sense than the hypocritical legalism of these religious folks.
What kind of a person would deny a cure to a hurting person in the name of religion?
Jesus then compares the man to one of the their sheep who fell into a ditch on the Sabbath.
He knows, and they know too, that these would certainly lift their sheep from the ditch.
His teaching exposes a callous indifference to the suffering of this hurting man.
The scene transitions to the miraculous as Jesus brings heaven to earth.
The words “stretch out your hand” are so understated.
Can you imagine what it would have been like to have been that man?
Jesus didn't touch him but merely spoke a few words to him.
His withered hand becomes like his healthy one as he stretches it in faith.
This passage, and others like it, are some of the most chilling ones in the gospels.
In reading these verses we are reminded that God is not limited by religious rules.
He will meet us in times when everyone has given up on us.
Such is the very nature and character of the one who call us to “stretch out your hand”.
I am in awe of your compassion and power Lord Jesus. You are God the Son!
... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.