Recently I penned a series of post on the Ten Commandments and as I was writing it, found that the Sabbath day was the only commandment not reapplied to believers in the New Testament.
In writing that series of posts, I was reminded that the Sabbath day was one of the main irritants between the Lord Jesus and the Pharisees.
After introducing the logical argument of rescuing the sheep before rescuing the man, Jesus doesn’t wait for an answer, since it is so obvious – He simply saves this poor man’s life by healing his withered hand, his right hand (See Luke 6:6), very possibly giving this man his lively hood back, if not only his social life.
Stand up poor man, in front of all these religious pharisees, and let the Messiah give you strength to stretch out you hand!
Notice that Jesus didn’t do His miracles “in a corner”, where none would see, but in the most public places, forcing people to make decisions about Him.
Paul also describes his ministry as being public and available, in Acts 26:26
Acts 26:26 For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner.
Let’s continue with Matthew.
Matthew 12:13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other.
On the Sabbath, Jesus heals a man with a withered hand, but it is with the help of the man stretching out his hand – Golly, that sounds like work to me, and on the Sabbath of all days!
Upon the action of the man stretching out his hand, restoration came. I wanna think the restoration came with full functionality and strength in his hand, and that no rehabilitation for his hand would be required. No partial healing, or temporary fixes.
Matthew 12:14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.
Jesus did address these folks twice so ya gotta kind understand their desire for blood. What? They conspired to destroy the Messiah. Notice that this is early on in the Messiah’s ministry, if I recall, sometime in His first year of public ministry.
Things were not looking good right from the start.
How difficult it is to reach the religious. Entrenched in “truth”, with stubbornness disguised as faithfulness, some of us refuse to reconsider the Word of God given to us by the Author of Life. So often in my own pilgrimage, earlier teachings have been found to be insufficient (or, in my humble opinion erroneous), and repentance had to occur. Without a spirit of repentance in your life, willing to change your mind by being persuaded by the Word, no growth can occur.
It is the normal Christian life to be in repentance mode as new truth is found in your studies.
Am I advocating change for the sake of change? Absolutely not.
Am I advocating for personal responsibility in understanding the Word of God through reading and study of the Word of God?
But know this – things will change in your life and you best hold on!
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