Man with a withered hand

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Lk 6:6-11. On a certain Sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely to see if he would cure on the Sabbath so that they might discover a reason to accuse him. But he realized their intentions and said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up and stand before us.” And he rose and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” Looking around at them all, he then said to him,”Stretch out your hand.” He did so and his hand was restored. But they became enraged and discussed together what they might do toJesus.  What was the purpose of going to synagogue or a church? Is it to pay homage to God, is it to learn obedience to God? Is it to gain favor with God? I wonder if that might have been the message Jesus was teaching at the synagogue. On one hand, many might attend a religious service to be seen as upright and holy, they might attend as a requirement to gain entrance to heaven in the afterlife. On the other hand some might attend to learn to become upright and to strive to attain holiness. In the first (Scribes and Pharisees) their impression is that they are righteous, the second (the man with a withered hand) knows their own frailty . In Jesus’s demonstration he shows the faulty can be healed and that irritates those who think they have no faults. The man with the withered hand knew his weakness and acknowledged it, with that he was healed. The righteous could not see their own weakness, in the gospel story they remain the same. Was judging others a fault?  Was anger a fault? Was plotting against another a fault?  Were these not as easily seen as a withered hand?

 

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