He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? Matthew 12:11
So, if someone A man with a withered, shriveled hand stands before a crowd at the synagogue. Jesus and the disciples are there, along with a group of Pharisees who hope to catch Jesus breaking a command of the law of Moses. Violates the Pharisees’ traditional rules about what counts as “work” on a Sabbath day. Jesus said unto them, well knowing their intentions, and also their usages and customs, which he was able to produce and object to them; in which, through covetousness, they showed more regard to their beasts, than they did humanity to their fellow creatures: But certain types of healing activities were also prohibited, because they involved grinding herbs or other “work” activities not allowed on the Sabbath. Many people had long-term illnesses and simply lived with them through the Sabbath. It appears that even Jesus did not generally heal on the Sabbath. Another reason Jesus healed on the Sabbath was to remind people of why God instituted the Sabbath day of rest. The Sabbath was meant to benefit people as much as to glorify God: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27, ~ Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath day was made for man. Man was not made for the Sabbath day.). The Sabbath helped people recuperate (mentally and physically) after a week of work and redirect their focus from the daily routine to God. Christ poses a series of questions. These show that the Pharisees’ manmade standard for “working” on the Sabbath is faulty. Therefore, their accusation is empty. God’s laws are meant to be followed, but they are also meant to be understood. Just as God’s laws mean more than avoiding only physical sins (Matthew 5:27–28,~ “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.), they are also not meant to prevent men from doing good when the situation requires it. Going even further, Jesus declares Himself Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:3–8)
It reads in Matthew 12:1-14 “At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.” He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” Going on from that place, he 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?” He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So, he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.