Scripture: Matthew 12:9-14 [NLT]
9 Now when He had departed from there, He went into their synagogue. 10 And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—that they might accuse Him.
11 Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other. 14 Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him. (Matthew 12:9-14, New King James Version)
Observation: (What do you see when you read this scripture?)
I see Jesus walking into the local synagogue, surrounded by people and mixed in with them the Pharisees. Jesus notices a man in the synagogue with a deformed hand, and the Pharisees seize upon this opportunity to try to trap Jesus. They ask Him if the law permits a person to work by healing on the Sabbath.This points out to me that they have reached a point in their religious experience that causes them to USE the law to do their own will and to do evil. This is what Jesus is seeking to correct.
Knowing their hearts and knowing that He will be condemned as a lawbreaker, Jesus returns their question with a question. “Would you help one of your own sheep in trouble on the Sabbath day?” He is pointing out that their financial well-being is more important to them than helping a human being. He is pointing out their lack of a relationship with God. They are blinded by their own love of the law. They are lost in a sea of man made restrictions and precepts; so much so that they are capable of plotting murder on the Sabbath day!
Application: (How can I apply this to my life?)
Oh how careful I must be to not make the Sabbath day anything but what GOD intended it to be. I must be so careful to not add to it or subtract from it. Most of all, I feel that I need to make it about my relationship with Jesus. He is the Lord of the Sabbath and He can let me know what is good and what is a man made stumbling block.
Prayer: (Speak to Him from the heart.)
First, thank You for the Sabbath day and the holiness that you placed there. I ask that You would please help me to follow You on Your holy day. Please help me to not go my own way, and when moments are presented I want to be able to know Your will. Help me to more and more value my time with You.
Thank you for all that You provide Lord. Please watch over my children, especially my daughter. Please continue to be with the small bible study groups. I ask for protection for all of them. Please fill us with the Holy Spirit and help us to help others.
Forgive my sins Lord. Help me to turn from them toward You. I love You. Amen.