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Jesus went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” (Matthew 12:9-10)

Everything Jesus tried to tell the Pharisees in Matthew 12:3-8 is exemplified in the way he dealt with this man in the synagogue. For the Pharisees, the synagogue became a courtroom, the man’s crippled hand became Exhibit A. Jesus had a decision to make. Clearly he could have returned a few days later to heal the man without breaking the Sabbath rules.  After all, what would a few more days matter for a man who had been crippled for so long? But Jesus was teaching us that there is always good that can be done, just as there is always an excuse or rule to get out of doing good. Jesus was teaching that a helping a real person by addressing a real need is always the right thing to do; the rule can wait.

Prayer - Father, empower me to meet people's needs as I encounter them, and not wait until a more opportune time.

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