Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
11 He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus. (Matthew 12:9–14, NIV)
After a while you begin to see a pattern: Jesus breaks the “rules” set up to maintain holiness (i.e., the Sabbath laws), to act towards others in. … holiness.
How do you think the man with the shriveled hand felt being a pawn for the Pharisees’ trap? How do the Pharisee’s actions serve to further humiliate this man who was already seen as “not worthy of the Lord’s honor?” [Individuals who suffered from some disability would have been considered inferior not just in day-to-day life, but also accursed by God or at the very least, outside of God’s favor.]
Why is it too often so easy for people to value stuff and rules above human lives?
What good things can you do for someone in need or who has been rejected regardless of the perception or expectations of others?