Blessed… The Sheep is in the Pit

Jesus left that place and went into their synagogue. A man with a withered hand was there. Wanting to bring charges against Jesus, they asked, “Does the Law allow a person to heal on the Sabbath?” Jesus replied, “Who among you has a sheep that falls into a pit on the Sabbath and will not take hold of it and pull it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! So the Law allows a person to do what is good on the Sabbath.” Then Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he did and it was made healthy, just like the other one. The Pharisees went out and met in order to find a way to destroy Jesus (Matthew 12:9-14, Common English Bible).

On two occasions in my life, I have spent a Sunday in the hospital. Boy, am I thankful that the Pharisees weren’t in charge of my care.

In today’s reading, Jesus is going to heal a man’s hand and the self-righteous Pharisees start to question Jesus about healing on the Sabbath. There intent wasn’t to learn more about the law. They knew that already and had already applied their interpretations to it. They wanted to set a trap. And, as usual, Jesus blew their trap apart. He asks a very legitimate question, “Who, if they had a sheep that had fallen into a pit would not go get it, even on the Sabbath?” (Keith paraphrased version) Livestock was, and still is, very valuable, in some cases, the most valuable property they owned. Of course they would go after it. Then Jesus continues, “Isn’t this man or any other more valuable than sheep?”

In other words, you will help a sheep, but not a person? That doesn’t even make good sense! For a bunch of guys who seemed to know so much about Scripture, it seems to me that they have forgotten the words of the Prophet Micah, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly[a] with your God. (Micah 6:8, New International Version). These guys might have known the law and been the spiritual police out to enforce the law like a Texas Highway Patrol officer out writing speeding tickets on a holiday weekend (No, I am not saying that is a bad thing. I have great understanding and respect for what they do). They didn’t act justly. They constantly failed to show mercy. And, I’m not sure there was a bit of humility in any of the Pharisees.

Jesus, the “Good Shepherd” on the other hand, shows mercy to one of his sheep just as any shepherd would go after a sheep in the pit. Jesus healed the man, the Pharisees grumbled and planned, and the world moved on. But the most important part here is, Jesus showed us one of many ways to show mercy to the Lord. I may not be able to heal a withered hand, on the Sabbath or other wise, but I can still find ways to show mercy. It is up to you and me to decide that is what we will do.

How do you follow Jesus’ example and show mercy?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

2 thoughts on “Blessed… The Sheep is in the Pit

    1. Father we lift Irene up to you and ask for healing for her wound. Lord we know that all healing comes from you and we ask you to be the great physician and lay your healing hands upon her.
      Lord also be with Tim and Carolyn. Give them strength for the journey. Your blessings are ever present and we give you thanks and praise.
      In all these things and more we give you thanks. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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