1 Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, "Stand up in front of everyone." 4 Then Jesus asked them, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they remained silent. 5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus. (Mark 3:1-6)
(UNKNOWN; Illustrator of Lillie A. Faris's 'Standard Bible Story Readers, Book 1-5', 1925-28)
[John Calvin had no commentary on this passage]
Thoughts: Jesus was in church worshipping God. He knew God works all the time to heal, sustain and help. The work of God is not limited to six days a week. Of course God's work is good work, saving work- not destructive or killing work. Jesus knew people would be critical of his work- helping and healing- but he did it anyway. This is one of the few times when Jesus is recorded as being angry. It was a holy anger that they would not care about this person with the shriveled hand. His anger was rightly placed, because his enemies plotted to kill him simply because he healed this man on the Sabbath. Jesus honored the Sabbath regularly with worship and refrained from regular labor. But He also allowed deeds of mercy and healing as part of the work of God. Jesus' example to us is to do God's work despite criticism and opposition.
Prayer: Give me strength this day, O Lord, to do your work. Help me not to seek the applause of people, but your applause. Give me grace to see the need to help others.