Here Jesus is dealing with a case of “The Letter verses the Spirit of The Law.” In our modern times, our first reaction may be one of shock at the man’s insensitivity toward this woman and her plight. The man felt that he was following the law to the letter; in his mind, he was being faithful to the law of God. Like his Pharisaical brothers, the law had been broken and that was really mattered. Following the law to the letter, no-matter the consequence, is what was considered pleasing to God. Keeping the Sabbath was utmost, for in essence, it was the highest of days and foremost to be upheld. Besides, this woman could come back the next day and be healed. What difference could one day make for one who had suffered this long.
In a general view of the law, the man was right. However, he was about to be schooled on the finer points of the law by its author. Jesus enlightened this fellow that people are what matters. The law and its purpose are to help individuals, not stand in the way of them.
Prayer: Father, help us to be concerned with people over practice in our lives. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Carlin Ours, Pastor of Organ Lutheran Church, Salisbury, NC.
Source: NALC Devotions