October 9 (Daily reading: Matthew 12; Mark 3; Luke 6) Jesus healing people on the Sabbath was a subject of great controversy with the Jews. Jesus did not conform to the rules they had made about the Sabbath. It is hard to recognize truth once you fabricate your own truth by believing a lie! This is exactly what many have done, and are doing, in our day.
The wording from Luke reveals how misguided they were. Jesus healed a man with a crippled hand on the Sabbath. His enemies recognized that the man’s hand was restored. “But they themselves were filled with rage, and discussed together what they might do to Jesus” (Lk. 6:11). No joy for the healed man; only rage that Jesus had dared break their rules! In reality, Jesus had the authority as God to do His Father’s work on any day He chose. Matthew quoted Jesus as saying, “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” (Mt. 12:8). It is the same principle we follow when we say Jesus is the Lord of our lives. He has the right and authority to do whatever He chooses in our lives!
On another occasion, Jesus told them that any of them would lift a sheep out of a pit on the Sabbath. He concluded: “How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” (Mt. 12:12). Their attitude touched Him deeply. Once, before healing a man on the Sabbath, knowing they did not approve, Jesus looked “around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart” (Mk. 3:5). Our sin is the same as theirs when we fail to do Christ’s bidding because we stubbornly follow our way instead of His. At such a time, we need His healing—for our hard hearts.
– Al Gary