of the withered hand
panting by James Tissot
The Pharisees are now on the lookout for ways to discredit Jesus. I suppose it is a bit like the negative advertising in bitterly fought election campaigns. But they are unable to get the better of Jesus.
There is a man with a "withered hand" in the synagogue on a Sabbath. Jesus wants to heal him, the Pharisees are watching. What does he do?
He asks a question. A question can be a powerful thing in the mouth of the right person. Jesus is the right person. When Jesus asks us a question we had better have an answer. "Did you do good, or did you do evil, did you use laws and rules as excuses for not doing good?"
What laws and rules? Rules like, "Don't talk to those people, you know what they are like," or "he is foreign, don't trust him."
There are a lot of rules and social things that prevent us from helping others. Perhaps Jesus wants us to break them in the same way as he broke the rules about the Sabbath to do good to the man with the withered hand.
Sickness to the Jew was a sign of sin and God's displeasure. They would have seen the man as a sinner. Jesus saw him as a person needing help. How do we really see those who are less well off?