Jesus Heals a Man with a Withered Hand on the Sabbath Day
9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:
10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.
11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.
15 But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence . . .
Elder James E. Talmage wrote:
“Again on a Sabbath, Jesus went into a [synagogue], and saw in the congregation a man whose right hand was withered [see Matthew 12:10–13; Mark 3:1–6; Luke 6:6–8]. There were Pharisees present, and they watched to see whether Jesus would heal the man, their purpose being to accuse Him if He did so. The Pharisees asked: ‘Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days?’ Our Lord countered their poorly veiled purpose by asking: ‘Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days?’ and extended the question, ‘or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?’ They held their peace, for the question was double-edged. To reply in the affirmative would have been to justify the work of healing; a negative answer would have stultified them. He put another question: ‘What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep?’
“As the Pharisees could not or would not reply, He summed up the whole matter thus: ‘Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.’ He called upon the man with the withered hand to stand forth before the congregation. Grief and anger were mingled in His penetrating and sweeping glance; but, turning with compassion toward the afflicted one, He commanded him to stretch forth his hand; the man obeyed, and lo! the hand ‘was restored whole, like as the other.’
“The discomfited Pharisees were furious, ‘filled with madness’ Luke says; and they went out to plot anew against the Lord. So bitter was their hatred that they allied themselves with the Herodians, a political party generally unpopular among the Jews. The rulers of the people were ready to enter into any intrigue or alliance to accomplish their avowed purpose of bringing about the death of the Lord Jesus. Aware of the wicked determination against Him, Jesus withdrew Himself from the locality.”
(Jesus the Christ, 3rd ed. , 214–15.)