When Jesus healed the man with the withered hand on Sabbath (Luke 6), He communicated to religious leaders that there is never a wrong time or day to do good, for the Pharisees objected to Jesus’ healing.
Be mindful that our rituals can clog the flow of the streams of love and compassion. Any time is good for acts of compassion for those in need. Our challenge is to display love and kindness to all people yet faithfully uphold God’s moral standards on controversial issues.
When Jesus asked the man to part company with the crowd and step forward, he obeyed. And when Jesus commanded, “ Stretch out your hand”, he put his faith into practice and was healed. Along with the command to do something impossible in his condition, Jesus gave him the ability to fulfil it. It’s an assurance for us too. When God guides, He provides and equips as well.
When Jesus broke the misunderstood religious rituals of the establishment, the leaders plotted to murder Him. The leaders failed to look within their hearts where rage and plans to murder Jesus were born, a far greater violation than healing the man’s withered hand. Evil resides in our hearts and the systems we create. Jesus was in solidarity with the suffering humanity and came to redeem them.
Jesus wasn’t trying to reform the Sabbath. He showed that the legalist even today wants to debate rules, while the issue isn’t about which practices are correct; the crux is knowing God and His purposes for our life. God gave the Sabbath to His people so they could know Him intimately and remember Him as their Creator and liberator from the slavery of sin. The gospel of God’s grace is not based on what we do for God but is founded on what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. Inviting Jesus into our life makes us children of God; Oh, what freedom and joy!