Let the Sleeping Dogma Lie

Jesus heals a man’s hand on the Sabbath

Mark 3:1-6

While in Capernaum Jesus went over to the synagogue again, and noticed a man there with a deformed hand. Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. Would he heal the man’s hand? If he did, they planned to arrest him! Jesus asked the man to come and stand in front of the congregation. Then turning to his enemies he asked, “Is it all right to do kind deeds on Sabbath days? Or is this a day for doing harm? Is it a day to save lives or to destroy them?” But they wouldn’t answer him.

Looking around at them angrily, for he was deeply disturbed by their indifference to human need, he said to the man, “Reach out your hand.” He did, and instantly his hand was healed! At once the Pharisees went away and met with the Herodians to discuss plans for killing Jesus. The Pharisees plotted Jesus’ death because they were outraged. Jesus had overruled their authority (Luke 6:11) and had exposed their evil attitudes in front of the entire crowd in the synagogue. Jesus had shown that the Pharisees were more loyal to their religious system than to God.

When there Is a Need … As the Pharisees watched the man with the deformed hand, they wondered if Jesus would heal him, thereby breaking the Sabbath. Their Sabbath rules said that people could be helped on the Sabbath only if their lives were in danger. Jesus healed on the Sabbath several times, and none of those healings was in response to an emergency. If Jesus had waited until another day, he would have been submitting to the Pharisees’ authority, showing that their petty rules were equal to God’s Law. If he healed the man on the Sabbath, the Pharisees could claim that because Jesus broke their rules, his power was not from God.

But Jesus made it clear how ridiculous and petty their rules were. God is more concerned about people than rules. The best time to reach out to someone is when he or she needs help. The Pharisees placed their laws above human need. They were so concerned about Jesus’ breaking one of their rules that they did not care about the man’s deformed hand. What is your attitude toward others? If your convictions don’t allow you to help certain people, those convictions may not be in tune with God’s Word. Don’t allow dogma to blind you to human need.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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