“Here?” “Now?” This is one of my husband’s and I’s favorite lines from a favorite movie. It would seem there’s a time and place for everything…and sometimes not so much the time or place for many things. I’m usually conscious of social graces and manners, whereas my husband enjoys pushing those limits. This can be infuriating at times, and quite fun at others.
Regardless, some things are perfectly acceptable at any time! But who determines what is okay and what is not at any given moment? There’s a story that appears in three of the four Gospels where Jesus tests the opinions of the “powers that be” regarding the timing of His miraculous power. Let’s look at Matthew 12:9-13 (NASB):
Departing from there, He went into their synagogue. And a man was there whose hand was withered. And they questioned Jesus, asking, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might bring charges against Him. But He said to them, “What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable then is a person than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” He stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other.
Those questioning Jesus demanded to know if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath. Jesus challenges them in what they would do if their own property was at risk on the same day. Of course, anyone, including God Himself, would do all that is possible to rescue, deliver, heal, and tend to those in their care, no matter the day. Jesus then declares He values people—His own children—so much more than a man values his sheep.
There’s another account of Jesus healing on the Sabbath in Luke 13:10-17 (NASB):
Now Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent over double, and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your sickness.” And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she stood up straight again, and began glorifying God. But the synagogue leader, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, “There are six days during which work should be done; so come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites, does each of you on the Sabbath not untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it away to water it? And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this restraint on the Sabbath day?” And as He said this, all His opponents were being humiliated; and the entire crowd was rejoicing over all the glorious things being done by Him.
Again, we see Jesus healing on the Sabbath, despite the opinions and rules of the leaders in place. God deems the Sabbath as a day of rest. It is a day we are to cease from striving and turn our attention to Almighty God—our Healer, Provider, Protector, Victory, Comforter, Teacher, and Friend. However, Jesus teaches us through these encounters that, in our rest, we still ought to do good. He continuously calls us to love and serve Him and others, no matter the day.
It’s as if Jesus says, “Why not here?” “Why not now?” He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This is the day of salvation! The glory, compassion, mercies, and miracles of God are not ordained for only six days of each week—but for every single moment of every single day in your specific and very present time of need. Bring your need to Him right now. He will meet you exactly where you are and minister to you in this very moment.
Holding Fast to Hope,