The man with the paralyzed hand.

Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath. He noticed a man there whose hand was paralyzed. The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Jesus closely to see if he violated the Law against working on the Sabbath. Jesus knew what was in their hearts, and speaking to the paralyzed man, he said “Come stand here in the middle” and the man did.

Then, speaking to the scribes and the Pharisees, he said “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or evil, to save life or destroy it? If any of you had a sheep that fell into a pit on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you pull it out? A man is certainly worth more than a sheep, so it fulfills the Law to do good on the Sabbath.”

He then looked around at all of them, angry and sad at how hard their hearts were. Then, speaking to the man, he said “Stretch out your hand.” The man did, and his hand was perfectly healed.

The scribes and the Pharisees were filled with rage and they began to plot with the Herodians about how they could destroy Jesus.

MT 12:9-14, MK 3:1-6, LK 6:6-11

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Poem – the hand of God.

Opening up the mess with God
is the point
where I think
it would make a difference.

Between us
a little more energy
would help.

A little more energy
between us
would help.

We have all these things available
but then again
we have nothing at hand.

Our fingers are feeble,
are fragile,
are faulty.

We point the way with them.
We beckon, we accuse.

The hand of God is made up
of these same fingers.

And sometimes it feels more
like a slap from a bully
or a stop sign from a crossing guard
than a help.