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Debates about the Sabbath

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LUKE 6:6-11

reflectionstodayOn a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely to see if he would cure on the sabbath so that they might discover a reason to accuse him. But he realized their intentions and said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up and stand before us.” And he rose and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” Looking around at them all, he then said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so and his hand was restored. But they became enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.

REFLECTION

HIS HAND WAS RESTORED. In the synagogue where he is preaching, Jesus encounters a man with a withered hand. His enemies are watching what Jesus will do next. If he cures the man, they will have a good reason to accuse him. Knowing what is in their minds, Jesus commands the man to stand before them and asks them whether healing is lawful on the Sabbath. Jesus gives them a little time to think. Since there is no reaction or before they can react, Jesus heals the man. His right hand is restored.

The scribes and the Pharisees are strict observers of the law. In that rural area in Galilee where their fellow Jews may not care much about the laws, these religious leaders teach the value of obedience to the law. They will not allow any violation. Outsmarted and thrown off guard, they become enraged and plot possibilities to get rid of Jesus.

Instead, Jesus wants to drive a strong message: they must make the right conclusions out of the healing.

We Christian believers know that Jesus is sent by God to proclaim God’s Kingdom. He is not just a countryside preacher. The power of God is active in him, making him work extraordinary things like healing even on a Sabbath.

Do you believe in Jesus’ mission and see healing as an integral part of it?

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

 

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