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Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.”
This is the second time that Jesus is in the synagogue in Capernaum, in Galilee around AD 30. That first time, a man was there with an unclean spirit.
The two go together of course. If I’m not clean inside, my ability to do stuff is withered – shrunken. The basic Greek word Mark used was xeros meaning “dry”. Xerox printers which produce copies by a “dry” process, adopted the Greek word. What would you like to see happen to this person?
Jesus, like all of us, wanted to restore the man. But, for some, the Sabbath was not the day for it. They were strongly religious.
And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent.
Jesus asks the religious whether good may lawfully to be done on the Sabbath and whether (tellingly) harm may lawfully be done on the Sabbath. What about saving life on the Sabbath? Is it lawful to kill on the Sabbath?
What do you think? Should religion tell me not to do a good thing on a particular Day? Should religion tell me that, on a particular Day it’s OK to kill another person? The latter is definitely occurring today in our world.