Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored.
Jesus was always about bringing people together and restoring them to wholeness.
But the religious leaders at the time were more concerned about “doing” their religion and keeping to the letter of the law. They were angry that Jesus’ disciples were picking heads of grain on the sabbath and that Jesus Himself cured a man’s withered hand on the sabbath.
Your religion should be helping you to become more merciful, loving, compassionate and forgiving. It should be leading you to reach out in acceptance and love to others. It should be leading you on a transformational journey to wholeness and your true self.
Jesus never made it a rule that “sinners” needed to “get their act together” before he would dine with them or heal them. As a matter of fact…he sought out those who were not included. Jesus said, “Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners” (Matthew 9:13). Many so-called “religious” people seem to believe the exact opposite!
Jesus’ mission was to restore the broken to wholeness.
May it be our mission as well.
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Remember…God loves you!