When we pause to review our lives, whether the occasion is a birthday, an anniversary, or the dawn of a new year, we tend to ask certain questions:
- What was the most memorable event of the past year?
- The most dramatic change?
- The greatest accomplishment?
Our passage this week offers another set of questions:
- Where did we show mercy in the past year or last week?
- How can we show mercy in the coming week or year?
Last week we saw that God desires mercy and this week we will see how Jesus demonstrates mercy.
Here we have an amazing example of Jesus’ merciful ministry.
But even more so, our passage leads us beyond the example of Christ to the person of Christ.
Our eyes can see Jesus and worship him, for he is the merciful God.
The whole passage points to mercy—for the hungry disciples, for the crippled man. But the whole passage also leads us to Jesus.
He is greater than David; anyone who helps him is caught up in the cause of God.
He is greater than the temple; anyone who is with him stands in the presence of God.
He not only shows the power and the mercy of God; he is the merciful and powerful God.
What we see him do for the crippled man is what he will do for all those who know him as Lord.
Whether we see it or not, we all are wounded or withered in some way. This story is about more than a man with a withered hand, it is also about those with withered hearts, withered souls, withered compassion. And Jesus wants to help them all.
The healing power Jesus showed long ago is the same power that he possesses and wields today.