Tag: sheep in the pit
Scripture reading for January 15th: Matthew12:1-21, Psalms 10:9-18, Proverbs 3:11-12
“Going from that place, He went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse 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 man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:9-12)
The Pharisees were always threatened by Jesus and His simple teaching and miracles. But success or miracles doesn’t always make one receptive to the good news that Jesus is God and came to seek and save lost. These Pharisees had set up rules for behavior on the Sabbath and anything that smacked of “work” was strictly forbidden. They watched Jesus with an accusing eye! Earlier, on a Sabbath, they spotted Him and His disciples picking some grain as they walked along to the next town. This was confronted and Jesus taught them through the Scripture about God desiring mercy, not sacrifice. (Hosea 6:6) (Matthew 12:7-8)
Jesus went to their synagogue on purpose. There he found a man with a shriveled hand. These Pharisees asked Him if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath. (Matthew 12:10) Jesus gave them a practical example of a sheep in a pit and how the owner would surely rescue his sheep on the Sabbath. Men were more valuable than sheep! He then healed the man’s hand! The lesson was simple and powerful and should have convinced anyone with ears to hear and eyes to see that Jesus was showing mercy. This was what God desired!
“But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.” (Matthew 12:14) Religion cares more about its rules than about mercy for the hurting. These religious Pharisees would not be taught by Jesus Himself! For healing a man on the Sabbath, these religious leaders plotted to murder the sinless Son of Man, who was Lord of the Sabbath! The moral of this story is to watch out for a religious spirit. How you view Jesus and the Scripture can determine whether you follow Him or plot murder! Learning from Jesus brings Sabbath rest! (Matthew 11:28-30)