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About-Him Devotional 06-07-03

The life of Christ, from His baptism to His ascension, following the Harmony of the Gospels.

76: Healing the Withered Hand - Mt. 12:9-13; Mk. 3:1-5; Lu. 6:6-10

Luke 6:9 Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?
10.  And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand.
And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

On the third Sabbath after attending the unnamed feast in Jerusalem, Jesus would face a third controversy concerning proper observance of the Sabbath.  After this He would return to Galilee and resume His ministry there.

Upon entering a synagogue, the location of which is not known, Jesus saw a man with a withered hand. Tradition says that he was a stonemason who had injured his hand in his work.  The ever present Pharisees who comprised a committee of observation seized the opportunity to lay a trap for Jesus by asking, " Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath days?" Jesus replied by referring to their own tradition that allowed them to rescue an animal from a pit on the Sabbath day to prevent suffering. "Is not a man better than a sheep? Is it not lawful to do good on the Sabbath day?" The Pharisees were caught in their own trap, and could answer neither yes or no.

A very grieved and angry Jesus, knowing that it would be considered a Sabbath violation to touch the man, told the man to rise up and stand forth. He commanded "Stretch forth your hand," and the man was instantly healed.

Conclusion and Application:

Most Christians now observe Sunday as the Lord's day and we feel free from the legalistic requirements of the law (Romans 8:2, 14:5) concerning the Sabbath. God's law is written on the tablets of our hearts (II Corinthians 3:3). We have been given a righteousness that far exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 5:20).  Daily, we worship our God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and serve Him only (Deuteronomy 6:4). If we need to get the Ox out of the ditch on Sunday, we should do so. We certainly desire to be in God's house with His people worshiping Him, but we should not place ourselves under condemnation if circumstances arise that hinder us from doing so.  Our Holy Ghost is sufficient to carry us through a missed service. If it isn't, we need to check our supply!

However,  a principal remains that we need to observe. The sabbath was instituted for our benefit that we might rest and honor God. When Israel failed to rest their land every seven years, the  land laid desolate until the sabbaths had been fulfilled  (II Chronicles 36:21).  We need to consider this when we work our minds and bodies to the limit and fail to rest and honor God.  Our bodies will only take so much. If in our freedom, we abuse our bodies and fail to give God His rightful place, there will be a day of reckoning.

Next Week:  Many Healed Near Galilee

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An old man was a witness in a burglary case. The defense lawyer asked Sam, "Did you see my client commit this burglary?""Yes,\" said Sam , "I saw him plainly take the goods."

The lawyer asks Sam again, "Sam, this happened at night.  Are you sure you saw my client commit this crime?" "Yes" says Sam, "I saw him do it."

Then the lawyer asks Sam, "Sam listen, you are 80 years old and your eye sight probably is bad.  Just how far can you see at night?"

Sam says,"I can see the moon, how far is that?";

  The first shall be last and the last shall be first - Jesus Christ

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Don & Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries

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