Today let's read Luke 6:6-11 (The same story is also told in Matthew 12:9-14 and Mark 3:1-6.) Jesus heals a man with a useless right hand. Perhaps the hand had been crushed in an accident or maybe the man had a stroke and no longer had the use of that hand. We have the description of the hand being shriveled, but we don't know why.
The healing is intertwined with the Jewish leaders' criticism of Jesus for curing people on the Sabbath - which they considered to be work. Of course, none of them had ever restored someone's hand. So perhaps the real reason they were mad was that Jesus made them look bad. He could cure people and they, the educated and most faithful, couldn't.
In Luke's version the healing of the hand is almost incidental to the story. But it was not incidental to the man. No doubt his life was changed by having his right hand back.
For reflection: One method of getting something new from a Scriptural passage we've read many times is to place ourselves in the story. There are many options for who we might be in this story: the person with the shriveled hand, a Pharisee or teacher of the law, Jesus, a family member of the man being healed, one of the bystanders. Where am I in the story? What do I see and hear now?
Let us pray. Holy Spirit, I don't want to become immune to the message. Help me to see what you want me to see, and hear what you want me to hear, and do what you want me to do today.
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