Morning: Matthew 12:9-21; Noon: Numbers 21:4-25:18; Evening: Psalm 38:1-8
The controversy over Jesus and His doctrine continues in Matthew’s account. The frying pan just got warm after the grain plucking incident. Now Jesus goes into their synagogue on the Sabbath day where He will heal a man’s withered hand and the fire will consequently turn all the way up. Is this Man a liberal?! Does this Man intend to compromise the entire system of their long-held tradition? Does He have no boundaries? Just who exactly does this boy from small-town Nazareth, who has barely turned the corner on His thirties, make Himself out to be?!
Jesus was indeed a young Man, but He was neither arrogant nor ignorant concerning the law. This was the same young Man who said, “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven” (Mat. 5:19). He did not boast against the law, but respected it. This was the same young Man who made His stand against the Devil and refuted him each time with the word of God, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mat. 4:4). Jesus was doctrinal, but He was also controversial because He opposed traditions of men that stood in the way of the commandments of God. He opposed the traditions of men that caused men to take their eyes off the purpose and meaning of the law and opened the door for the abuse and mistreatment of others, many times even masquerading their greedy financial pursuits and desire for reputable notoriety among men.
Being doctrinal is controversial, because it means upholding God’s word above the commandments and teachings of men. Even when doing what would otherwise appear to be good in the eyes of most men, your works may be met with great controversy by the religious elitists who suppose themselves to have a superior knowledge or the traditionalists who have done certain things in certain ways throughout their generations as long as they can remember. The same ones who sometimes barely lift a finger, but have something ready to say when their conscience is pricked by the good motives of others. Sadly, they are pinned between their word and the word of God. What of the man’s withered hand? Jesus chose to fulfill God’s word, do what God said was good, and restore it. Do the same. Be doctrinal. Choose God’s word. Do what is good. Restore the truth, even if its controversial.
Go and learn what this means: The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath