it is undebatable truth that many people have the hunger and thirst to save lives and promote the well being of others.
Many of us are blessed with gifts and talents to touch souls and save the human race.
We have many of us who sincerely are willing to do anything to save souls. One can see in them the sincere intention of doing what they are doing. The problem that still keeps many people at bay is the fear of criticism. Do not be afraid of doing good.
Some people are certainly afraid to come out and use their gifts because of the fear that some people may misinterpret them.
One truth about this is that we can never run away from this. It will surely happen. Not everyone will be happy with what you do. So, do not be afraid of doing good.
All this while, we have been reading Jesus’ encounter with the Pharisees. It is quite clear that the Pharisees are not happy with Jesus.
So, let us always know that everyone will never be happy with what you do. But once what you are doing is genuine and aims at promoting good and saving souls, never think twice.
All through the lives of Jesus, we can see that the authorities, the elders, scribes and the Pharisees have been flesh in his torn.
They think He is teaching something different from what they have been teaching or maybe Jesus is demeaning their positions. So, they hardly see anything good in whatever Jesus is doing.
In today’s gospel, the healing of the man with a withered hand should have been a thing of joy and a thing to celebrate but selfish ambition makes the Pharisees not to do this.
If you are not living up to your potentials and if you are yet to do what God has been inspiring you to do because of what people will say or think, then know you will never try anything.
The truth is that whether you do or you do not do, they must still have something to say. So the best thing is to come out of your comfort zone. Do not be afraid of doing good.
Teaching in Action.
For a few days now, Jesus has been confronting the Pharisees, right and left; from the ushering of the new wine to the plucking of grain on the sabbath day. Jesus uses those encounters with them to let them know his mission, identity, and true interpretations of the law.
Today, Jesus now puts in action what He has been teaching the Pharisees.
The sabbath cannot prevent a man to preserve and save life and this Jesus does with the healing of the man with a withered hand.
Jesus does not allow the misinterpretation of the Law by the Pharisees to stop him from doing what is good.
In the same vein, whenever we have a chance to save lives, please never think twice.
If you think you have the potentials to talk to people and they repent for what they do, never stop.
If you think that if you sing and lives are touched, never allow any circumstance, and people’s misconceptions stop you.
Do not be afraid of doing good when you have the conviction that what you are doing is genuine.
While Jesus is Teaching.
When you read Luke’s account of today, Luke says that Jesus has already entered the synagogue and began to teach. So, it was while he was teaching that He saw a man whose hands were withered.
Therefore, what Jesus is doing does not stop him from saving lives. Let us also not keep ourselves busy that we forget that there are those in need of the things you can offer.
Secondly, many scholars have proposed that this may be the only man who has such deformity in their midst because Luke would have said that some others who were deformed were also present.
In so many instances, many sick people have been brought to Jesus, so if they are many today, Jesus would have called all of them out.
Thirdly, it was not the man who demanded the healing. It was Jesus who saw him. Thus, Jesus would not have healed just one person if they are many.
Finally, according to the Jewish laws, no deformed person is allowed to come in God’s presence to offer gifts (Lev 21:19). Because of this, many are not even allowed into the synagogue, though not always.
The man drew the attention because, despite this, he took his time to come and listen to Jesus. Jesus saw him and called him out.
So, this means that whenever we have a single chance to do whatever is good, do not relent.
The Pharisees at The Synagogue.
When Jesus called the man out, the Pharisees watched Him closely. Luke uses the Greek word paratēreō here meaning “to spy on” or “to watch out of the corner of one’s eye” (Psalm 36:12 ).
This indicates someone closely looking with evil intention. Luke gives us insight that they are watching only to see if he would heal on the Sabbath so that they will find something to accuse Him.
The first thing we have to note here is that this is a synagogue. We can see today that the teachers of the law are not paying attention to synagogue worship.
Their interest only is to accuse and attack Jesus. Let us also always know that when people gather to hear, read, or listen to you, do not presume that all are truly happy with you. Some read, listen and come to find something against you. Do not allow the crowd to mislead you.
You have to be careful of many who come to you or surround you. It is no longer surprising that some are seriously looking for a little opportunity to pull you down.
When you do well, they can never say it, but when you make a little mistake, they use it to destroy you finally.
When a minister preaches or does well, they will never talk about it but when he makes a single mistake they will be the first to rush to social media.
One surprising fact about today is that even in the synagogue, a place of worship, these Pharisees are busy discussing among themselves. They didn’t show their animosity publicly but inside the hearts. The opposition seems to be secretive. But the bible says that Jesus knew their thoughts already.
In essence, God also knows the intentions and every secret plan against you. So never be afraid. He searches the heart, He knows our deep thoughts (1 Chronicle 28:9, Psalm 94:11).
So, do not be afraid of doing good even when people plan secretly against you. What will still save you tomorrow is that good thing that you are doing.
Jesus Never Stops.
In today’s gospel, Jesus knows that the Pharisees are around. He knows that they hardly see anything good in whatever He does. Only this would have made Him stop.
Jesus knows their inner plans and secret thoughts and possible attack that may come from them but Jesus does not bother.
Luke records that later they become so furious. Some scholars say that the reason for this is because the Jews do not allow any deformed person to approach the altar (Leviticus 21;19). But Jesus does that today.
Therefore, He is showing them that it is better to do good than to hold tenaciously to the law.
Secondly, the sabbath day is not for work (Exodus 20:8-11). For the Pharisees, Jesus destroyed two laws they held in high esteem.
The Pharisees held strict to these laws that they gave strict interpretations to them. But Jesus looks forward only to heal, save, preserve life, and do good.
Jesus did not allow either their hatred, jealousy and misinterpretation of the laws to stop Him.
Therefore, He is teaching us that despite the oppositions, the criticisms, the hatred, negative thoughts, and possible misinterpretations of what people think against you, do not be afraid of doing good.
Many People Wither.
To wither means something dry, weak, exhausted, weakened, deformed, and not functional again.
This is when something is constantly diminishing or diminished.
In the gospel of today, Jesus was a source of healing to the man whose hands has withered.
Today also, many lives are withering. Many are suffering, many are passing through challenges, etc. We can be a source of help and encouragement to them.
Today, sins are gradually withering our spiritual lives. We need Jesus to make us well again. We can also be an instrument of salvation to many.
Also, constant problems, conflicts, and disunity wither many families, societies, and organizations.
Many marriages are breaking down. Many families are swallowing up in enmity. We can be a source of salvation to them.
Let our presence be a source of peace, love, and hope to people. Do not be afraid of doing good amid the moral and spiritual decay that we see today.
Let us be that change that we want to see in the world. Let us be that change we want to see in our families.
So, Do not be afraid of doing good and never be afraid of those who may try to fight to pull you down. God is your strength.
Never stop being an instrument of change to people. In the end, you are going to give account to your Creator and not to anyone. What we do now, is what will open doors for us later.
May God bless you and never forsake you. Amen.