Can you heal on the Sabbath? (Mt 12:10-12:10)

“A man was there

With a withered hand.

They asked Jesus.

‘Is it lawful to heal

On the Sabbath?’

Thus,

They might accuse him.”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπος χεῖρα ἔχων ξηράν· καὶ ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν λέγοντες Εἰ ἔξεστιν τοῖς σάββασιν θεραπεῦσαι; ἵνα κατηγορήσωσιν αὐτοῦ.

 

Matthew has the discussion about the Sabbath continue in the local synagogue.  This is similar to Mark, chapter 3:1-2, and Luke, chapter 6:6-7.  In this synagogue, there was a man with a withered or dried out hand (καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπος χεῖρα ἔχων ξηράν).  They, the Pharisees, asked, inquired, or interrogated Jesus (καὶ ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν λέγοντες) whether it was lawful to heal, cure, or serve anyone on the Sabbath (Εἰ ἔξεστιν τοῖς σάββασιν θεραπεῦσαι).  They were trying to see if they could accuse or charge Jesus of breaking the Sabbath (ἵνα κατηγορήσωσιν αὐτοῦ).  Jewish law allowed people to help in cases of distress on the Sabbath.  Clearly, this was a trap question.

Jesus wants to be baptized (Mt 3:15-3:15)

“But Jesus answered him.

‘Let it be so now.

It is proper for us

In this way

For us

To fulfill

All righteousness.’

Then he consented.”

 

ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἄφες ἄρτι·οὕτως γὰρ πρέπον ἐστὶν ἡμῖν πληρῶσαι πᾶσαν δικαιοσύνην. τότε ἀφίησιν αὐτόν.

 

Why did Jesus need to be baptized, since he was not a sinner?  Some of the early Christians were not pleased about this baptismal action, since it seemed to show that John was more important.  Jesus responded to John (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ).  He wanted his baptism by John to be done now (Ἄφες ἄρτι·οὕτως), because it was a proper and a fitting thing to do (γὰρ πρέπον ἐστὶν ἡμῖν).  The purpose of this baptismal action was to show that Jesus was obedient to the divine will as a complete righteous person (πληρῶσαι πᾶσαν δικαιοσύνην).  Jesus had come to proclaim his higher ethical judgment of righteousness.  He was willing to submit to the baptism of John.  John the Baptist no longer hesitated, as he agreed to baptize Jesus (τότε ἀφίησιν αὐτόν).  There was no discussion like this in Mark, chapter 1:9 and Luke, chapter 3:21, just Jesus being baptized.

 

Jeremiah back in prison (Jer 38:27-38:28)

“All the officials did come

To Jeremiah.

They questioned him.

He answered them

In the very words

That the king had commanded.

So they stopped

Questioning him.

The conversation

Had not been overheard.

Jeremiah remained

In the court of the guard

Until the day

That Jerusalem was taken.”

Just as King Zedekiah had expected, these royal officials came to Jeremiah in his prison to question him. However, Jeremiah answered them as the king had requested him to do. He told them the conversation with the king was about what prison he should live in. With that, the officials stopped questioning him. They never asked him how he got out of the cistern well. Thus the conversation between the king and Jeremiah was safe, since no one had heard the conversation. Both sides of this discussion had agreed what to say about their secret chat. Nevertheless, Jeremiah remained in the royal prison until Jerusalem was taken by the Babylonians.

The useless tongue (Sir 37:16-37:21)

“Discussion

Is at the beginning of every work.

Counsel precedes every undertaking.

The mind

Is the root of all conduct.

It sprouts four branches,

Good and evil,

Life and death.

The tongue continually rules them.

Some people may be

Clever enough to teach many.

Yet they may be

Useless to themselves.

A skilful speaker may be hated.

He will be destitute of all food.

The Lord has withheld

The gift of charm.

He is lacking in all wisdom.”

Sirach points out that some discussion precedes all actions. Thus counsel and advice precede any undertaking. The mind is the source of all conduct. There are 4 branches to the mind, good, evil, life, and death. This is hard to figure out. I am not sure how the mind controls life and death, except spiritually. Good and evil are easy to see. The tongue rules over all 4 branches. Once again, it is hard to see how the tongue controls life and death other than in a spiritual way. Some people are clever enough to teach others, but not worth much to themselves. You can be a skilled but hated speaker, so that you might end up with not much food. The Lord may have withheld charm from this speaker, since he is lacking in wisdom.