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12 March 2018

GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery

Scripture: Mathew 12:9-14 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)

9 Then Jesus went over to their synagogue, 10 where he noticed a man with a deformed hand. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?” (They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.) 11 And he answered, “If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you work to pull it out? Of course you would. 12 And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored, just like the other one! 14 Then the Pharisees called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus. (Matthew 12:9–14 NLT)

Jesus went to the synagogue on the Sabbath (he was still in Galilee, in Capernaum) and there noticed a man with a deformed hand. Apparently the Pharisees noticed Jesus noticing the man with the deformed hand, because they tried to trap him into saying that healing the man was work and that it was OK to work on the Sabbath. Which, of course, was a violation of the Jewish ceremonial law.

Jesus gave them a very practical and obvious illustration that there were some kinds of “work” that were always OK to do, Sabbath or not. And that included pulling a sheep out of a well, and healing a man’s deformed hand, and by implication lots of other good things. So he healed the man and they called a meeting after church to plot how to kill him!

Friends, I truly hope you don’t get tired of all this stuff we’re running into, and I’m wrestling with and writing about: Pharisees and Sabbath and ceremonial law and Jesus and his disciples getting in trouble with them and them trying to find a way to violate everything good and right by killing Jesus. I said at the beginning of the year that I was on a Journey of Discovery through the Gospels and that I’d love to have you travel with me to see what we can learn about Jesus and his ways. Well, this is some of what we’re going to keep bumping into if we’re honest in our search. So please stay with me and let’s see what’s out there!

Prayer:

Father, So far on this Journey of Discovery, I’m discovering that there’s some Pharisee thinking and attitude in me. Please help me learn how Jesus sees things. I want to see and value and speak and act as Jesus does in matters of compassion, acceptance, doing good. I need to change and for that I need help! In Jesus’ Name.

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