…and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. …Jesus said to them, ‘I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to destroy it?’ Luke 6:1-11
Throughout culture and society, laws were meant to establish order and unify a people, not to separate and divide. I think without question today, the laws of the Ten Commandments are said to be cross-cultural in that they are adhered to in both Jewish and Christian faiths. The first part (1-4) emphasizes our relationship with God and the second part (6-10) emphasizes our relationship with one another. But early on and as society shifts and changes, human precepts have been integrated into God’s Laws. At times human precepts have rendered a simple yet poignant message of love God and love neighbor as self to become a burdensome process. Some say there are times when one must override the process in order to take action and ask for forgiveness later, because not to do so would be harmful, destructive or both. Of course this isn’t done without risk, but through Christ we know today that to love is to risk. The whole and undivided truth about God’s law is that people are more important than the process, which is why forgiveness is so important. When the Pharisees confront Jesus as to the disciples actions under the Law, Jesus challenges their precepts, assuring us that God’s law leaves room for us to do what is good, what is right and what is holy. As society continues to change, that challenge will continue to be ours, remembering that as Christians our goal is to help bring others to salvation and not to destroy. Further, when we respond to that challenge with what is good, right and holy, through Christ, God has already taken on the risk.
After looking around at all of them, he said to him, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He did so, and his hand was restored. Luke 6:1-11