Mark 2:23 -- 3:6
Following the unfortunate event of receiving a speeding ticket, I usually manage to keep a heavy foot off the gas pedal. My willpower doesn't last for long, though--a few days perhaps. Still, shame is a compelling, albeit fleeting force.
Jesus didn't stay on the good side of the law for even a few days. Seemingly, on the same Sabbath day as the grain plucking incident, Jesus again flagrantly breaks the law by restoring the withered hand of a fellow synagogue-goer. Again Jesus justifies his actions with an appeal to the inherent righteousness of doing good rather than harm. One would expect Jesus to follow what proper religious practice dictated and ignore the man on the assumption that his gnarled hand was a sign of a gnarled soul. But Jesus is intent on doing good. And for that--for daring to disrupt a system that, while good for some, is calculatedly designed to keep the most vulnerable from receiving even the simplest of blessings--Jesus earns himself a death warrant.
Make us thankful for your gift of rest Lord, and when there is good to be done, help us to do it even if it means breaking the rules. Amen.
Mark 2:23 – 3:6 (NRSV)
23 One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain.
24 The Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?"
25 And he said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food?
26 He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions."
27 Then he said to them, "The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath;
28 so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath."
1 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand.
2 They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him.
3 And he said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come forward."
4 Then he said to them, "Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent.
5 He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
6 The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.