One Saturday, Jesus was walking through a wheat field. His followers were running on empty, so they just decided to help themselves to the heads of grain. Always under close scrutiny, of course some of the Jewish religious leaders called them out. “Look! Your followers are breaking a law!”
Jesus answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his friends were hungry? He went right into the temple and ate the communion bread. That was against the law too, only the priests were allowed to eat it. Oh, maybe you missed the nuance there. The priests were able to eat the holy bread—clearly an infraction of the law—without actually being guilty of breaking the law. Well, guess what. We’re in the middle of something a lot more monumental than the temple. If you had done the homework I assigned you and learned what it means when God says, “I don’t want you to act out of duty, but out of compassion,” you wouldn’t be slamming these guys for no good reason. A day of rest was instituted to benefit people, not to penalize them. The Son of Man is in charge of the day of rest.”
He walked on and entered the synagogue. There was a man with a shriveled hand there. The religious leaders were trying to find some way to incriminate Jesus, so they asked, “OK, then, so is it against the law to heal a man on the day of rest?”
He replied, “If your dog got tangled in barbed wire on the day of rest, wouldn’t you help it out? And isn’t a person worth more than a dog? So no, it’s not a crime to help people out on the holy day.”
Jesus told the man with the shriveled hand, “Come here, sir, and stand in front of everyone.”
Then to the religious leaders, he asked, “Which is acceptable on a holy day: good or evil; to save someone or to kill someone?”
[Chirp, chirp.] Total silence.
Jesus looked around in disgust at these guys and their stubbornness. He told the man, “Stretch out your hand.”
He did, and it was completely restored—just as good as his other hand.
This really ticked off the religious leaders. They huddled up and started brainstorming ways to do him in—they even “reached across the aisle” to their political opponents, the Herodians, to devise a way to kill him.
[Irony alert: After unsuccessfully trying to bust Jesus on a Sabbath law infraction, religious leaders plot first degree murder on the Sabbath. I’m pretty sure that was against the law.]