By Arla, Aug 24 2020 01:00AM
On another Sabbath, Jesus is teaching in the synagogue as usual, and he sees there a man with a withered hand. He knows the Pharisees are watching. He knows he will be regarded as a law-breaker, but he sees this as a chance to teach the real meaning of Sabbath and free it from its load of rules.
So he asks the man who needs healing to stand. Then he questions the teachers, "Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath? To save life or to kill?"
They are silent. What can they say? They are planning to kill him on the Sabbath!
Looking at them with anger, pained over the hardness of their hearts, he says to the man, "Stretch out your hand."
The man lifts it up and he can stretch it out! His hand is healed.
Then Jesus turns back to the Pharisees. "If any of you has a sheep that falls into a pit on the Sabbath, won't you pull it out? How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."
Jesus shows that Sabbath is a sign between God and his children; not a requirement, but a link connecting them to Him, indicating that He will restore them to wholeness.*
God's laws are meant to comfort, benefit, and protect, not to be a test to see if we can keep them. In John 14 Jesus implies they were the first comforter given to us.**
Matthew 12:10-12 *Ezekiel 20:12, **John 14:15-16 (In the Diaglott interlinear Greek New Testament) Jesus literally says "My laws will keep you...and I will send you another comforter..." (emphasis mine)