Luke 6:6-11 – On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, "Get up and stand in front of everyone." So he got up and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, "I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?" He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He did so, and his hand was completely restored. But they were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.
Luke includes these accounts of Jesus and the Sabbath to demonstrate the legalism that opposed Him.  The Jews of His day observed very strict rules regarding the Sabbath.  Religious leaders became furious with Jesus for breaking their traditions.  His crime was healing people on the Sabbath.  Our Lord did not allow traditions and rules of men to keep Him from doing good on the Sabbath.  This is one of those occasions.  While He was teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath, a man was there who had a crippled right hand.  It is interesting to note that the Pharisees were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus and they were watching him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath.  Jesus made it easy for them by telling the man with the shriveled hand to stand up in front of everyone.  He was about to boldly violate their rules and traditions in plain view of everyone!  However, before doing so, He asked them a question, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” 
Jesus looked around at all of them.  The question he raised required them to consider whether it is more important to honor God or worry about those who imposed the laws and traditions of men?  I wonder how they reacted to His gaze.  Is life precious?  Do souls matter?  God thinks so!  Jesus then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”  He did so, and his hand was COMPLETELY RESTORED!”  Wow!  The compassion and power of God was displayed before their very eyes – in a practical “handy” sort of way!  This was a thrilling moment of healing for this man!  The power and compassion of God had restored the full function of his hand.  We might now consider him to be Christ’s right hand man!
But the Pharisees and teachers of the law weren’t happy – they were FURIOUS!  Jesus had demonstrated more regard for this man and his condition than he did for their rules regarding the Sabbath!  So they began to discuss what they might do to Jesus.  You see, He threatened their establishment.  He upset their rules and laws – their mode of operation.  That was more than they could handle.  No one has ever addressed the needs of us humans more effectively and compassionately than Jesus!  Yet, there were those who hated Him for it because He didn’t do it within the confines of their rules.  Everyone would do well to consider the point that Peter and John made when they were accused of doing something good in Jesus’ name and told not to do that any longer by the authorities.  They said,  “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey (man) rather than God.”  Acts 4:19.  Governments of men may make laws, policies and decrees, but if they’re in conflict with the laws of God then we should not be hesitant to be like Peter and John, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, who were all determined to do what was right in the sight of God.  Life is precious, souls matter, God is good!
  • Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
  • Thank God for loving us humans more than laws!
  • Pray for the Good News families of the week: Barr & Sherry Miesch, Laura Mohr, Aaron Montanaro
  • Give praise that Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath – He came not to destroy the law but to fulfill it!
  • Give thanks to God for His compassion and grace that do not destroy life but save it! 
  • Partner with us in “In Touch” Prayer meeting at the close of Worship Service.
  • Pray that those who are legalistic will see that the letter of the law kills but the Spirit gives life!
  • Celebrate faith that is not about LAWS but about a RELATIONSHIP with the Lord of the Sabbath!
  • Praise God that this RELATIONSHIP is one of practical love and compassion!
Prayer Challenge: Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  (Ephesians 4:32 – 5:2).

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