In the dust of the Rabbi- Day 44

Title: The Messiah’s authority over the Sabbath part 3

Scriptures to Read: Read Mark 3:1-6; Matthew 12:9-14; Luke 6:6-11


The Sabbath controversy over the man whose right hand is withered

Mark and Matthew simply mention that while Jesus was in the synagogue there was a man with a withered hand. But again Doctor Luke is more specific and tells us that it was his right hand that was withered. He is always more specific.

Healing is an act of mercy

In verse 7 the scribes and the Pharisees were watching Jesus closely to see if He would heal anyone. They wanted to have another basis for accusing him. He reminds them that even in Pharisaic law, if a sheep has fallen into a pit on the Sabbath day they will pull the sheep out of the pit. And again, using the qal va-chomer argument: how much more important is a man’s life than a sheep. Jesus re-teaches a lesson that He taught previously: works of necessity, works of mercy were always allowed on the Sabbath day. The healing was an act of mercy, therefore he proceeds and healed the man.

Summary of the results of these Sabbath controversies

Now there are three specific results for these Sabbath controversies.
1. Firstly, the Pharisees were filled with madness (Luke 6:11). They were controlled by their emotions and madness and anger.
2. Secondly, they began to counsel and conspire how they might destroy him, how they might get rid of him (Matthew 12:14).
3. Thirdly, they even carried out this conspiracy with the Herodians (Mark 3:6). Now remember that the Pharisees and the Herodians were at the opposite ends of the political spectrum. The Pharisees objected to Roman rule of any form. But the Herodians were willing to accept Roman rule if it was rule through the house of Herod. So these two groups that are at the opposite ends of the political spectrum come together against what they see as a common enemy, and that is Jesus.


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