Gospel Harmony Project
Public Ministry of Jesus From 2nd to 3rd Passover
057:  Plucking Corn on the Sabbath

058:  Healing on the Sabbath a Man Whose Hand was Withered

 9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:

 10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.

 11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?

 12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.

 13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.

1 And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.

 2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.

 3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.

 4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.

 5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

6 And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.

 7 And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him.

 8 But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth.

 9 Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?

 10 And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

  1. they asked him (vs 10)
  2. sheep in pit on sabbath (vs 11-12)
  3. Jesus said it is lawful to do well (vs 12)
  1. they held their peace (vs 4)
  2. he looked with anger, being greived for the hardness of their hearts (vs 5)
  1. and taught (vs 6)
  2. right hand (vs 6)
  1. they watched him (Mk 3:2, Lk 6:7)
  2. Jesus asked if it is lawful to do good or evil, save life or kill (Mk 3:4, Lik 6:9)
  3. stand forth (Mk 3:3, Lk 6:8)


  1. Sabbath
    1. See 057:  Plucking Corn on the Sabbath Issues Section
    2. Imitators of Christ will on the Sabbath attend public worship, for the purpose of thus honoring God and benefiting their fellow-men. Family Bible Notes
    3. The ceremonies of the law are not against the love of our neighbour. Geneva Bible Notes
    4. Christ shows that works of mercy are lawful and proper to be done on the Lord's day. There are more ways of doing well upon sabbath days, than by the duties of worship: attending the sick, relieving the poor, helping those who need speedy relief, teaching the young to care for their souls; these are doing good: and these must be done from love and charity, with humility and self-denial, and shall be accepted, Ge 4:7.  Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
  2. Teaching in the synagogue
  3. Lawful to heal on the Sabbath
    1.  In the opinion of the Pharisees, to kindle or extinguish a fire on the Sabbath was a great desecration of the day, nor was even sickness allowed to violate rabbinical rules. People's New Testament Commentary
  4. Sheep in the pit
    1. Men often condemn in others, things which they without scruple allow in themselves. Family Bible Notes
    2. Such an act of mercy to a beast was allowed and usual then.  People's New Testament Commentary
    3.  If you would show an act of kindness to a brute beast on the Sabbath, how much more important is it to evince similar kindness to one made in the image of God!   Albert Barnes Commentary
  5. Pharisees questioning or watching to see what Jesus would do
    1.  taught by their experience in the grainfield, they changed their bold assertion, "It is not lawful" (Mt 12:2), and approached the subject with a guarded question, hoping to get an answer that could be used as a ground for accusation.
      Fourfold Gospel
  6. Lawful to save life or to heal
    1.  It was a maxim with the Jews, as it should be with all men, that he who neglected to preserve life when it was in his power, was to be reputed a murderer.  Adam Clarke Commentary
    2.  A home thrust at the fault-finders. They were harboring murderous thoughts; he was seeking to save life. Which was breaking the Sabbath?  People's New Testament Commentary
    3. Jesus made it a question of doing good, and his question implies that a failure to do good, when one is able, is harmful and sinful. "The ability," says Cotton Mather, "to do good imposes an obligation to do it." To refrain from healing in such an instance would have been to abstain from using a power given him for that very purpose. The Jews held it lawful to defend themselves on the Sabbath, and considered themselves justified in killing their enemies if they attacked on that day (1 Macc. 2:41; Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, 12.6.2).  Fourfold Gospel
  7. Pharisees hold their peace
    1. Being confounded, though not convinced.  John Wesley Notes
    2.  For they could not answer without condemning themselves.  Family Bible Notes
  8. Jesus looking around with anger
    1. Angry at the sin, grieved at the sinner; the true standard of Christian anger. But who can separate anger at sin from anger at the sinner? None but a true believer in Christ.  John Wesley Notes
    2. This was not a spiteful or revengeful passion; it was caused by excessive grief at their state. It was not sudden and tumultuous hatred of the men whose hearts were so hard; it was hatred of the sin which they exhibited, joined with the extreme grief that neither his teaching, nor the law of God, nor any means which could be used, overcame their confirmed wickedness.  Albert Barnes Commentary
    3.  Indignation at the sins of men is perfectly consistent with the deepest compassion for their souls; and no opposition or danger from the wicked should hinder us from doing them good, as we have opportunity.  Family Bible Notes
  9. Hardness of their hearts
    1.  The heart--figuratively the seat of feeling, or affection is said to be tender when it is easily affected by the sufferings of others; by our own sin and danger; by the love and commands of God;--when we are easily made to feel on the great subjects pertaining to our interest, Eze 11:19,20. It is hard, when nothing moves it; when a man is alike insensible to the sufferings of others, the dangers of his own condition, and the commands, the love, and the threatenings of God. Albert Barnes Commentary
  10. Withered hand restored as whole as the other
    1. It is worthy of remark, that as the man was healed with a word, without even a touch, the Sabbath was unbroken, even according to their most rigid interpretation of the letter of the law.  Adam Clarke Commentary
    2. God can not be tried by man, because his ways are hidden from the senses of man save as he chooses to reveal them.
      Fourfold Gospel
    3. Christ has absolute power over all bodily diseases and infirmities to cure them miraculously without means, only by a word speaking, is one argument that proves him to be truly and really God. William Burkitt Notes




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