For the penultimate miracle in this series I chose the story of the man whose hand was withered and Jesus healed him.
This was yet another healing that Jesus performed on Saturday, a day when non-emergency medical assistance was not allowed. But He always put the human need and the doing of good above this law, showing once again how mercy and generosity are above traditions.
Is there a day to heal?
The passage begins in Matthew 12, from verse 9. The priests who were working in the temple where Jesus was spending that day wanted to accuse Him of healing on the Sabbath, questioning Him if healing was allowed on the holy day. If the priests were allowed to do active work on the Sabbath inside the temple, Jesus could act too, for He is greater than the temple!
Mercy should also be greater than such a doctrine. The Pharisees did not understand that the Sabbath was created for the good of the people, not to burden them. In verse 7, Jesus also mentions the passage in Hosea 6:6, in which God says that he desires the practice of love and mercy above the offering of sacrifices.
Even knowing that men were only waiting for His action to accuse Him, He was not afraid or did anything hidden. In Luke 6, the bible says in verse 8 that Jesus, calling the man with the withered hand, said, “Get up and stand in front of everyone“, He called the man to heal him in the sight of all!
The lord of the sabbath
In verse 9 Jesus asks the people around whether on the Sabbath it would be permissible to do good or evil, as men were going against Christ’s generosity and mercy, wanting to answer that goodness with accusations.
This is not to say that Christ did not respect the laws and was rebellious to the doctrines of the Jews, but He proved that, above all, He was God on any and every day, including Lord of the Sabbath, as He himself states in verse 8 of chapter 12 of Matthew. The Holy Spirit was upon Jesus so that He would fulfill the righteousness of God, not that of men, wherever He went and at all times, regardless of the day.
God will not act at the moment that seems conventional to us, He will act at His perfect moment. Not according to what seems just and right in our eyes, but according to His justice. In order for us to understand his action and be always ready, we need to constantly seek and practice what truly pleases God at all times, such as the practice of love and mercy. May we give God the place of honor he deserves and make him Lord of the Sabbath and of all our days.
Do not be afraid of what is contrary to you, go to the middle, like the man with the withered hand and stretch out your hands before Jesus. Don’t rest until you reach Him, and when you reach, seek even more for His presence.