Mark 3: 1-6
“Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” 4 Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. 5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.”
In this passage Jesus is in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Jesus’ presence there attracted the attention of the Pharisees and they watched him closely to see if he broke the Sabbath law.
Jesus had the power to help the man with the withered hand, to improve his quality of life, to make him whole. Not to do so, to turn his back on him even though he could help him, would have been evil. Jesus had the choice of performing either a good deed or an evil deed. The good deed would clearly violate the law. The evil deed would comply with the law.
So, which of these would the Pharisees prefer that he do on the Sabbath? Their silence implied that they preferred the evil deed. Christ chose the good deed. And because of this the Pharisees plotted to kill him.
Choosing the path of love, mercy and forgiveness is the spiritual way, the way of light, the way of Christ.
“The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:17)
May the love of Christ be with you,
Rev. Eric Lanier (Retired)