Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 2-5-21

Matthew 12:9-14
9 Then Jesus left them and went into the synagogue where 10 he encountered a man who had an atrophied, paralyzed hand. The fault-finding Pharisees asked Jesus, “Is it permissible to perform a work of healing on the Sabbath, when no one is supposed to work?” They only asked him this question because they hoped to accuse him of breaking the Jewish laws.

11 He answered them, “If any of you had a lamb that fell into a ditch on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you reach out your hand and lift it out? 12 Isn’t a man much more valuable than a lamb? So of course, it’s always proper to do miracles, even on the Sabbath.”
13 Then he turned to the man and said, “Hold out your hand!” And as he stretched it out, it was restored, exactly like the other.

14 Immediately the Pharisees went out and started to scheme about how they would do away with him.

On an ongoing basis, I cannot help but notice how people may share the same experience, but view things very differently. I imagine how we view something is connected to the motives of our hearts, right? According to Scripture, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart (Luke 6:45).

In our passage this morning, we see the heart and words of Jesus, as well as the hearts and words of a group of Pharisees [religious teachers]. Clearly, they all see the same struggling person—a man with a withered and paralyzed hand—but they do not share the same concern for this man. They are all in the same space—the synagogue on a Sunday—but they do not share the same reason for being there. The Pharisees look at the physically challenged man and see an opportunity to use him in order to further their agenda of discrediting Jesus; their words match their motive. Jesus looks at the physically challenged man with compassion and wants to bring his life wholeness and lasting change; his words match his motive.

There are many things going on in our lives, country, and the world. Although we may see things differently, let us make sure we are always looking at a situation with a heart that desires God’s highest and best for others. Destroying another person with whom we may disagree reveals the darkness in our own hearts. God sees. God hears. God saves. Let’s choose to produce good things from the treasury of a good heart.

Prayer: Lord, let the meditations of my heart be glorifying to you. Help me to serve you by helping others find your healing love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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