The Pharisees pursue their questioning of Jesus but not because they want to learn from Him; rather because they want to find grounds to accuse Him.

Presented in a synagogue on the Sabbath with a man whose hand was withered, Jesus was asked if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath. He responded by indicating that they would certainly help an animal that had fallen into a pit on the Sabbath - how much more then should a man be helped on that day.

The Pharisees do not accept Jesus’ teaching but go out and conspire to destroy Jesus.

We learn two main things from this passage:

We are free to do all the good we want on the Sabbath, whether this be relieving material or spiritual needs.

We need to beware of the hardness of heart which kept the Pharisees from receiving Jesus’ teaching. This hardness can afflict even believers for a variety of reasons and we are urged to examine our hearts and to have them softened under God’s Word. Unbelievers can only have hard hearts unless God has mercy on them: they are encouraged to come to Christ to be made alive and given a heart of flesh for their heart of stone.

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Shaun Bryant

Shaun has been Pastor at Grace Church in Modesto since late 1993. His journey to the fellowship took him through churches of various persuasions, during which time he became convinced of a call to the ministry and also of a Reformed view of the Scriptures. Shaun completed his studies for the ministry at Westminster Seminary in California. He is married with 3 children.

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