Matthew 12:1-21; Leviticus 14; Proverbs 26
“Then He said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other. Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.” (Matthew 12:13-14 NKJV)
I don’t know if the ancient Jews had a saying like “No good deed goes unpunished,” but the reaction of the Pharisees to Jesus is a great example of the truth of that phrase. Jesus had defended His disciples feeding themselves when they plucked and ate grain on the Sabbath. Then, He walked into a synagogue where the Pharisees brought Him a man with a withered hand and asked Jesus if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath. This was a gotcha question, because however Jesus answered He was going to run into trouble. Jesus answered by noting that it was possible to take care of animals on the Sabbath, and people were more valuable than livestock, so of course it was, and He healed the man. Since no good deed goes unpunished, the Pharisees began plotting ways to destroy Him; sinister, evil plotting being acceptable on the Sabbath, apparently. I don’t think Jesus was surprised by their response. I do think that He healed the man with full knowledge of how they’d respond knowing that doing the right thing was worth whatever it cost.
Maybe it’s happened at work. Maybe it’s happened at home. You make a special effort to do something just right for your coworkers and your family and something doesn’t turn out right. You baked a dish and didn’t realize your coworker or family member was allergic to one of the ingredients. Maybe it was some other issue that you had no way of knowing about and when you saw that your efforts caused problems and harm to others, you threw up your hands in despair. Don’t worry. It happens. Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath and the Pharisees began plotting to kill Him. I can’t imagine you had anything worse happen to You. Keep doing good. Keep doing the right thing even if no one else follows along. It will be worth it in the long run.
Lord, let me live by Your grace and care for people first. Help me to understand and live by the principle that you never do wrong by doing right.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.