Wounded for our Transgressions
Does this passage need a comment? Rather I am inclined to think it calls for quiet reflection and prayerful thanksgiving.
Years ago there was a song often sung based on verse 7. It went like this:
“For me, for me, my Saviour died for me,
From heaven he came and took the blame,
And in my stead he bore the shame,
That I might be free from iniquity.
If anybody here should praise the Lord,
It’s me, it’s me, it’s me.”
The Lord of Compassion
The two incidents in this reading are remarkable.
In the first story (verses 1-6), there is a vast difference in the participants.
First, the man with a withered hand is present as a man with a need in the place of Sabbath worship.
Second, the Pharisees and Herodians, each for perhaps different reasons, were present because they were suspicious of Jesus’ preaching and popularity and protective of their own interests.
And there was Jesus. His compassion for the man and his deep grief for the blindness of the Pharisees and Herodians produces the only place in the Gospels where the usual word for ‘anger’ is used of Jesus’ personal attitude.
He loves and heals on the Sabbath and is deeply moved by the callous rule-driven attitude of his Pharisaic hearers and perhaps by the sinister intentions of his politically motivated Herodian observers. He does good in the Name of God and some will not see or hear. Nevertheless the man is healed and God is glorified
The second story, (7-12), is a reminder of the impact Jesus’ work and words had on both the general population and on the ‘unclean spirits’. He is the Lord who has compassion on his people and who delivers from the power of evil both then and now.