On another sabbath he went into the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely to see if he would cure on the sabbath so that they might discover a reason to accuse him. But he realized their intentions and said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up and stand before us.” And he rose and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” Looking around at them all, he then said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so and his hand was restored. But they became enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.Luke 6:6-11
Irrationality of Sin
Jesus’ either/or question in Luke 6:9 bluntly challenges hearers. The Revised Standard Version preserves the Greek word order:
And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?”
Sin twists the human heart designed to follow the natural principle “do good and avoid evil.” Wrestling with the irrationality of sin, the apostle Paul laments: “For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want” (Romans 7:19).
Out of Mind
Instead of rejoicing with their healed brother, the scribes and Pharisees become “enraged” (Luke 6:11). Other translations say “filled with madness,” “senseless rage,” “mindless rage,” “fury,” and “anger.” The word Luke uses suggests irrationality, from anoia—“no mind.”
Sign of Shalom
Free of envy and bitterness, the heart of Christ—healthy, whole, and Spirit-filled—overflows with compassion for the suffering. The healing of the man with a withered hand heralds shalom: humanity’s full restoration of body, soul, and spirit in grace.
When heart and mind are out of whack,
Doubts plague whether to heal or wrack.