Friday, July 28, 2017

53 - Destroy The Healer

6  In the course of another sabbath he entered into the synagogue and began teaching. And there was a man present whose right hand was withered.
The scribes and the Pharisees were now watching him closely to see whether he would cure on the sabbath, in order to find some way to accuse him.
He, however, knew their reasonings, yet he said to the man with the withered hand: “Get up and stand in the center.” And he rose and took his stand.
Then Jesus said to them: “I ask YOU men, Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do injury, to save or to destroy a soul?”
10 And after looking around at them all, he said to the man: “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was restored.
11 But they became filled with madness, and they began to talk over with one another what they might do to Jesus. Luke 6:6-11 NW

An Unexpected Healing

another sabbath he entered into the synagogue and began teaching.  Teaching was His main calling in life, and it seems He did it every chance He got.

And there was a man present whose right hand was withered.  The meaning of withered is 
arid; by implication shrunken. Strong G3584.  The text does not say that the man asked for healing or expected to be healed.  It was probably normal for him to attend the synagogue and so perhaps he did not go there to be healed; he went to worship.  

The scribes and the Pharisees were now watching him, Jesus, closely. Luke 6:7  They maliciously watched him.  This is the import of the word. Clarke. 

The CEV writes it as if watching Jesus do something wrong was the  Pharisee's reason for going to the Synagogue that Saturday.  Some Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses kept watching Jesus to see if he would heal the man. They did this because they wanted to accuse Jesus of doing something wrong. Luke 6:7  CEV

I can imagine that in the morning before they left home, these Pharisees said something like this to their wives, I need to go to the synagogue this morning because Jesus might be there preaching and maybe He will heal the man with the withered hand.  I want to be there to be sure that the evidence gets recorded in case we get a chance to take Jesus to court.  In any case, their emphasis was not on worship.

The Sanhedrin was the supreme council of Israel. As long as it stood, it was the supreme court and legislative body in all matters of Torah law. As such, the Sanhedrin was entrusted with keeping and interpreting the Oral Torah. An excerpt from Rabbi Kaplan's Handbook of Jewish Thought.

In another story, Luke records a similar situation like this.  Jesus' enemies kept watching him closely, because they wanted to hand him over to the Roman governor. So they sent some men who pretended to be good. But they were really spies trying to catch Jesus saying something wrong. Luke 20:20 CEV

He, however, knew their reasonings, yet he said to the man with the withered hand. 
6:8  Christ had been in this kind of a situation before; He knew what to expect if the Pharisees were present.  Luke says, yet (in spite of this) he said to the man.  If Christ would have been someone else he might have said to the man, meet me outside the temple doors tomorrow morning and I'll see what I can do for you.  Christ did not flinch in the face of adversity.  He knew what needed doing and He did it.

Jesus said, Get up and stand in the center where everyone can see you.  I don't want the Pharisees to miss this!

After the man stood with Jesus in the centre of the synagogue Jesus said to the other men, Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do injury.  It sounds as if this would have been a royal insult.  Jesus is asking the religious leaders Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good.  Then, perhaps sarcastically, He added, Our maybe I don't understand the law right.

Stretch out your hand: In this, Jesus commanded the man with the withered hand to do something impossible. But as the man put forth effort, God did the rest. God never commands us without enabling us.

It sounds as if Guzik overlooked a simple fact.  It is stated that it was only the hand that was withered, so if his arm was still in good condition he could have reached out his withered hand to Christ.  So Christ did not ask the man to do anything that was impossible.

But they became filled with madness, and they began to talk over with one another what they might do to Jesus. Luke 6:11.  The word madness means stupidity; by implication rage: - folly, madness. Strong G454

Apparently, the religious leaders thought it was fine to be filled with rage and desire to kill a godly man ... but you better not heal someone on the Sabbath! Guzik

they began to talk over with one another what they might do to Jesus. Luke 6:11 It does not speak well for a religious community when the leaders ask what can we do to Jesus rather than what can we do to help Him.

In Matthew's version, this part of the story sounds like this, But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him to kill him. “How is that the religion of love has been responsible for some of the worst cruelties and injustices that have ever disgraced humanity?…The Church has persecuted more cruelly than any other religion…Our religious beliefs are propped up on the traditional scaffolding, and many of us are intensely annoyed if the stability of this scaffolding is called in question. The average Catholic [and the same applies to many Protestants] relies on the infallibility of his Church, which he has usually accepted without investigation. To own that his Church has been wrong, and has sanctioned heinous crimes, is almost impossible for him.”  Focus on The Kingdom. June 2017.