Honour and Violence

IMG_0266 - Version 2

6On another Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. 7And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse him. 8But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” And he rose and stood there. 9And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” 10And after looking around at them all he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored. 11But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.  Luke 6:6-11

Jesus did not compel all He met to honour Him as Lord of the Sabbath. However, He would not be denied. With or without honour the mission of establishing His kingdom would go on. He did not allow this man with a withered right hand to remain in his corner of shame to be used by those who sought to accuse Jesus of wrong-doing. With only a functional left hand this man was caught in a perpetual state of uncleanness and social estrangement. And now he was being used as bait.

Jesus called the man up and healed him. “Stretch out your hand.” In that moment Jesus disrespected the sacred conventions of the religious; and by extension he was a threat. If an honour deficit is allowed to rule the heart, the heart always moves towards fury and violence.

But, Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, more than covers the shame of honour deficits. The One who healed in the moment He said, “Stretch out your hand,” stretched out His own hands on a cross and carried our shame, our honour deficits, for our healing.

“22He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:22-25


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