Jesus is All Like: You Call This Work?
On another Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse him.
But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” And he rose and stood there. And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?”
And after looking around at them all he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored.
But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.
In modern day internet vernacular, a troll is somebody that is trying to stir up an argument or just generally take a discussion off topic to turn it into a fight. I think it’s safe to say, at this point, Jesus is trolling the Pharisees at the synagogue. Jesus came into contact with people all week long and healed people all over the place, but He also came to the synagogue because that is where the faithful would be to hear the word of the Lord.
The man that came with the withered hand would have had a rough life. Like technology and education gives a person an advantage in the modern world, physical abilities like a strong back, low pain tolerance, and general all around ability would give you an edge in Jesus’ day. This man would have trouble living his life and finding a job.
When Jesus restored this man’s hand, it absolutely changed his life. For this guy, it was an act of mercy on the magnitude of healing the blind or the lame walking. Everybody has their own struggles and deals with them by their own degrees, right?
The Pharisees were outraged because they believed that all work was forbidden on the Sabbath. On the seventh day, God rested and did no work, so who is mankind that they could possibly think themselves better than God and so work on the Sabbath?
Or look at it another way: If God has so blessed us, six days a week, don’t we owe it to Him to obey His command and rest on the day He said to rest?
You can see that even we, as Christians, use some of these same phrases and thoughts even though we’ve been released from the Law and Jesus put away the Sabbath laws over and over and over again in the Gospels.
The answer I love the most is that for Jesus, this wasn’t work.
I have a friend that can setup an Amazon Cloud Server with Minecraft for all of his kids and their friends to play in like 15 minutes. It boggles my mind, but he does it so fast he can make mistakes and just start over and redo it and I still don’t know what happened. For me that would be a Saturday. For him it isn’t even work.
I got new (used) tires and I told the guys I could drop off my rims and come back for them the next day. Their reply: “No way! We aren’t working on the 4 of July. We’ll have those done in 10 minutes.” They did it. It took me 90 minutes of sweat and mosquitoes to get my tires off. These guys had new rubber on my old rims in 8 minutes. It wasn’t even work for them. (I did the math later, they were getting paid about $1000 an hour for that 8 minutes!)
For Jesus, healing wasn’t breaking the Sabbath because it wasn’t even work.
That’s the God we are praying to. That’s the Savior who loves us.