Early in his ministry Jesus claims to have authority to forgive sin and calls himself the Lord of the Sabbath. This sounds like blasphemy unless Jesus is actually God.
Jesus enters into further controversy, this time starting with what is or is not allowed on the Sabbath. He adds teaching about his own resurrection and who his true family is.
Matthew 12.mp3 (Jake Medlong)
My thought today is a simple one, but still always relevant: Jesus cares. This occurred to me while reading the following passage.
9 He went on from there and entered their synagogue. 10 And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse him. 11 He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 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. 14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.
It seems the observers were more concerned about their questions pertaining to the Sabbath than they were with the poor guy who needed to be healed. Afterward, the Pharisees who witnessed the healing confirm this by going out and conspiring how to destroy Jesus. Their additions to or interpretations of the law took priority over helping someone in need.
Jesus, as we know, was willing to be their victim. He would not, however, hold back from doing good to the man with the withered hand. Admittedly the man’s hand was no life-threatening injury. He may have lived with his problem for years. During that time, however, his frustration may have grown. His discouragement may have increased.
We have reason to be encouraged when we see ourselves as someone comparable to the man with this disability, We cannot do as much good as we would like. We are not as capable as we often feel we need to be. Our inadequacy is constantly glaring at us in the mirror and laughing. And Jesus cares.
Christ is happy to renew our strength. He is not too busy nor overly concerned with Sabbath requirements that were mere legal additions or interpretations to begin with. He cares. Jesus simply and personally cares. And he wants us to know that.
This past Wednesday, we got together for Week 8 of 12 in our “Make Disciples.” series. Below you will find links to an overview of the full 12 weeks and for the eighth area on the map, Engaging God’s World: Life Rhythms.
During the 12 weeks, we are addressing areas on a comprehensive discipleship map. After discussing each area, we will try to establish Milestones that would provide evidence of personal spiritual growth – markers that we work toward.