“Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.”
Matthew 12:9-13 NIV
It amazes me the heart of the Pharisees, the Jewish leaders of Jesus time. First of all, they were looking for a reason to arrest Jesus so they could stop Him. He didn’t fit their religious mode. They could see the miracles Jesus did, but did they really see? In this miracle they watched a man’s hand that was “shriveled” be “completely restored, just as sound as the other.” I can’t imagine watching in an instant a hand that was obviously messed up restored right before my eyes. But what blows me away even more is how the Pharisees didn’t stand there with their mouths agape saying “WOW!!!” Instead, they watched, they saw, and they “plotted how they might kill Jesus”. That is unbelief!!
Now before I get all self-righteous saying, “I would NEVER do that!” The question that I am dwelling on today is “Would I NEVER do that?” Would I NEVER see the hand of God in circumstances around me and still refuse to believe? Would I NEVER try to discredit God’s miraculous in my own life?
Here’s what the Pharisees and me have in common: the desire to be in charge/ rule me.
They wanted control of their lives and the religious life of the Jews and themselves. All too often I want control of my life, following my own ways, my own opinions, my own desires- not fully obey. The only way I can do that is to discredit Jesus, not believe. Because a follower of Jesus must see what He has done, believe He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and follow Him whole heartedly. Not reason away His lordship of our lives and seek to figure out ways to “get around” obedience. The Pharisees tried to reason away Jesus so they could remain in control over their lives.
God grant me to stay close to You, obedient, always believing, submitted to You and Your will!