The Sabbath – Good or Evil to Save or Destroy. Jesus flagrantly broke their Sabbath day observances. He was not a Sabotarian and that position contributed to his execution. Jesus did not applaud the Sabbath day observances. Instead, he took a defiant position and assaulted them. With those thoughts in mind, let’s look at our lesson for today.


The Sabbath – Good or Evil to Save or Destroy (Luke 6:6-11)

by Pastor Delbert Young


Sermon video

Jesus flagrantly broke their Sabbath day observances. He was not a Sabotarian and that position contributed to his execution. Jesus did not applaud the Sabbath day observances. Instead, he took a defiant position and assaulted them. With those thoughts in mind, let’s look at our lesson for today.

The Sabbath – To Do Good, Evil, Save, or Destroy? – Luke 6:6-11

Scriptures: John 14:6; John 5:18; Luke 6:6-7; Luke 6:8; Luke 6:9; Luke 6:10; Mark 3:5; Luke 6:11; Mark 3:6; Matthew 12:14

God’s truth is the most important thing in the world. God’s truth is more important than anything else and more important than everything else combined. Without God’s truth you will go to hell tormented in darkness for eternity. Without God’s truth, your children will go to hell. Without God’s truth, your life is meaningless. When we preach and speak God’s truth we confront error bringing conflict. It’s interesting how we all say we want truth and think we are the ones who believe the truth, when it fact, at some point in life, we all believed in Santa Clause (enough said). My point is we all need to constantly be on guard for error. Error is evil.

As we saw last time, the Jewish religion of Judaism is a false religion. It damns souls with its false solutions to sin, false ways to please God, and false ways to connect with God. It is false in contrast with truth.

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the WAY and THE TRUTH and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Truth is central. Truth takes us the correct way to a correct life. Jesus is relentlessly committed to truth. He incited the hatred of people who hold to error. They hated him then. They hate him today. Those two things, his relentless commitment to truth and his relentless incitement to hatred of those who hold error, resulted in his execution.

How many have found it’s when you commit to truth darkness stirs up and attempts to destroy you? Years ago, it was my commitment to the truth of the kingdom of God that caused the denomination I was then in to attempt to destroy me. Certainly there have been times when you would not back down from truth and found yourself in serious conflict and hated. That is where our study finds Jesus today.

As we study the life of Jesus, we find he not only addressed error, but he also “staged” situations to create conflict. Jesus fashioned conflict. Have you ever done that? You purposefully pushed someone’s buttons to incite them. You “picked” a fight. We will watch Jesus do that today. Jesus will publicly stage an event, speak truth, pick a fight, and incite the religious leaders.

We think of Jesus as sweet, loving, and so kind. He is the Lamb of God, but… when it comes to truth and to religion damming and burdening people, he became a vicious Lion. You may remember he once made a whip and cleansed the temple using it driving out those who both bought and sold. He’s the one who said “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees hypocrites. You’re nothing but graves full of dead men’s bones.” He’s the one who spoke truth causing crowds following him to leave then he looked at his disciples asking, “Do you want to leave too?” Jesus is serious when it comes to truth because truth is the most important thing in the world. God’s truth is more important than anything else and more important than everything else combined.

In today’s lesson, we find a “staged” event by Jesus. If Jesus was going to preach truth exposing the lie of Judaism religion, he needed to expose the heart of Judaism. As we said, the heart of that false religious system was and is today the Sabbath day observance. In today’s study, Jesus assaulted the Sabbath day observance. As we are seeing, Jesus was not a Sabotarian.

John 5:18 For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; NOT ONLY WAS HE BREAKING THE SABBATH, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

Jesus flagrantly broke their Sabbath day observances. He was not a Sabotarian and that position contributed to his execution. Jesus did not applaud the Sabbath day observances. Instead, he took a defiant position and assaulted them. With those thoughts in mind, let’s look at our lesson for today.

Luke 6:6-7 ON ANOTHER SABBATH he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and A MAN WAS THERE whose right hand was shriveled. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to ACC– USE JESUS, so they watched him CLOSELY to see if he WOULD HEAL on THE SABBATH.

On another Sabbath – The Sabbath had become an issue. It became a “Here we go again” event. We do learn what Jesus did on the Sabbath. He went to worship, taught, ministered to people, and did his best to incite, assault, and anger those holding to error.

A man was there whose right hand was shriveled. Let’s get an idea of what this man suffered. Shriveled is (xeros {xay-ros’}) dried; deprived of natural juices, shrunk, wasted, withered. You get the picture. The hand was useless and deformed, but how coincidental! He was the perfect person for Jesus to put “on stage” for this Sabbath event. He wasn’t a “sinner” far from God. He was a worshiper in the meeting. I’ve heard people say the man was a plant by the Pharisees and PhD’s. No. They may have made certain he was there, but if planted, he was planted by God to assault their Sabbath observances.

The Pharisees and PhD’s were there for a reason. Their purpose was to “accuse Jesus.” It was to find a reason to indict Jesus and arrest him. They watched closely. They were on the front rows and as close to Jesus as they could position themselves. While we are here, what is shriveled in your life?

They watched him closely to see IF HE WOULD HEAL ON THE SABBATH. To you and me there is no question. We expect Jesus to heal the man. However, their Sabbath laws say healing and giving medical aid is illegal and unlawful work. He can’t do that on the Sabbath day. The Pharisees and teachers determined it was a violation of the Sabbath to help anyone become physically better on the Sabbath day. No physician, no relative, no friend, or by-passer could help a physically ill person on the Sabbath day. According to their regulations, a person suffering in pain must wait until the next day for help. There were two exceptions. A person could be helped if dying who might not be alive the next day. That’s nice. Also, a woman could deliver a baby on the Sabbath. That’s sweet, but what are the options?

They knew Jesus could heal. By this time, Jesus healed thousands and many in front of the very eyes of the Pharisees. It wasn’t to see if Jesus “could” heal. Their hope was he “WOULD” heal so they could accuse Jesus, indict, and prosecute him. They needed to arrest Jesus. They must stop him. Jesus was the most dangerous man alive. He was exposing their hypocrisy and causing people to turn from Judaism and follow him.

How deranged is their thinking! It wasn’t important to them someone with a deformed useless hand could be miraculously healed and experience a far better life. They couldn’t care less about the man. It wasn’t perhaps Jesus truly was the Messiah, Son of God, and Son of man there in their midst. It was about vengeance. It was about accusing Jesus for exposing their hypocrisy and assaulting their religion. They desired he break the Sabbath so THEY COULD ACC– USE HIM, indict him, and arrest him. How evil, how convoluted, how deranged, how dark, how twisted is that thinking! They wanted vengeance and needed to prove Jesus a criminal and themselves right. They called themselves servants of God, but they were serving darkness and the devil.

I don’t think any of us have ever been that deranged, but have you ever wanted someone to do something wrong so you could somehow, in a deranged way, get vengeance and prove yourself right? You may have never said it, but you thought it. Was that a God thought, or a thought from hell? That thinking is evil and is from hell. Don’t entertain those thoughts and never let them out of your mouth. Rebuke those thoughts as quickly as they come. If not, they will come upon you (Mat 7:1-2).

Their Sabbath regulations were heavy and burdensome. According to the Pharisees and PhD’s, a person’s salvation depended upon keeping these laws. Imagine! You must watch your child suffer in pain. You could not help them. If you did, God would condemn you to hell. Was that God? No. It was false, wrong, and merciless. They would help an ox out of a ditch on Sabbath, but not allow a cripple to be healed. Jesus detested it and knew exactly what they were scheming?

Luke 6:8 But Jesus KNEW WHAT THEY WERE THINKING and said to the man with the shriveled hand, “GET UP AND STAND IN FRONT OF EVERYONE.” So he got up and stood there.

Knowing what people are thinking is a great advantage, don’t you think? Jesus always knew what people were thinking. He knew their evil intent even if smiling saying, “Amen brother Jesus.” Jesus staged the man for the assault. He stopped teaching and called the man to the front where everyone could see his shriveled hand.

What is shriveled in your life God could and would love to stage? What is dried up, withered, and deformed in your life? Perhaps your finances? Perhaps your marriage? Perhaps some addiction has you withering? Maybe your attitude? What would Jesus use in your life to assault error and bring God’s truth?

Luke 6:9 Then Jesus said to them, “I ASK YOU, which is lawful on the Sabbath: TO DO GOOD OR TO DO EVIL, TO SAVE LIFE OR TO DESTROY IT?”

It was a dramatic moment. “I ASK YOU…” What a great question! Now it was the Pharisees and PhD’s who were responsible for deciding between good or evil, saving a life or destroying it. What fulfills God’s law? What is the right thing to do? Again, we note the sarcasm of Jesus’ question. “How do you experts interpret your law? Is your interpretation to do good or evil, to save life or destroy life? Which is lawful, i.e. which is actually of God?”

Have you ever had someone ask you a question you couldn’t, or wouldn’t, answer? I had a State Patrol ask me once, after registering my speed on radar, “Why are you driving over the speed limit?” “Uhhhh… Well…” I knew the correct answer, “I wanted to,” but couldn’t give it. Usually, when we won’t answer a rhetorical question it’s because we’ve been caught doing something we shouldn’t do.

They were caught. They knew the correct answer, but wouldn’t give it. They thought, “The Law is supposed to be about doing good and saving life. If we say “It is lawful to do good,” we are giving Jesus authorized permission to break our Sabbath law and saying our Sabbath laws are evil. If we say, “You can’t do good on the Sabbath,” we’re saying the law destroys life. They couldn’t say anything. They would either affirmed Jesus, or condemn themselves and their Sabbath. The question strangled them and they choked.

Remember, the congregation had no idea the Pharisees and PhD’s were thinking evil. All they heard was the question about to do good or evil, save life or destroy life. They were thinking and perhaps saying, “It’s to do good and to save life. Yes, go ahead. Heal the man!”

The crowd didn’t know the hearts of the Pharisees and PhD’s. Jesus did. The real question wasn’t specifically concerning the man with the withered hand. The real question Jesus was asking was, “Which of us is truly lawful according to God? Is it I who desires to heal this man’s hand and save his life, or is it you who want vengeance on me, to accuse me, do evil, and destroy my life? Which of us wants to please God, do good, and save life?” They were hypocrites pretending to be godly by observing God’s Sabbath while plotting to destroy the Lord of the Sabbath. After posing his rhetorical question…

Luke 6:10 HE LOOKED AROUND AT THEM ALL, and then SAID TO THE MAN, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored.

Mark 3:5 HE LOOKED AROUND AT THEM IN ANGER and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, SAID TO THE MAN, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.

Jesus glared around at them all. How awkward for them. Though it was probably only seconds, it had to seem like forever as Jesus stared into their evil eyes and wicked stubborn hearts.

“Stretch out your hand,” Jesus said to the man. It was completely restored. I was thinking about this. Jesus actually didn’t break the Sabbath. He didn’t lift a finger in work to heal the man. He didn’t so much as touch him. He didn’t even say “Be healed!” He simply said,“Stretch out your hand.” No Sabbath infraction there. Surely now the Pharisees would rejoice and repent for their thoughts, right? No way.

Luke 6:11 But THEY WERE FURIOUS and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.

Mark 3:6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

Matthew 12:14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

(KJV) Luke 6:11 And they were FILLED WITH MADNESS; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.

The Herodians were a political group. Their plot became a religious and political conspiracy to kill Jesus. They were furious and filled with madness. They lost their minds over this. They went “mad” like a mad rabid dog. They were in psychopathic rage. The staged event pushed all their buttons at one time. Jesus consumed them and was the most dangerous man alive. Jesus assaulted their Sabbath and was assaulting their credibility. They wanted to kill him and it was only in the first year of his ministry. They were already out of their minds consumed with psychopathic thoughts of killing Jesus.

The question Jesus asked them was answer by God. God himself showed it is lawful on the Sabbath to do good and to save life. Their Sabbath regulations showed a false religion damning people with its false answers to forgiveness of sin, false ways to please God, and false ways to connect with God.

How aware are you of the importance of truth? We don’t have silly Sabbath regulations and laws, but does what we do, say, believe, etc. do good or evil. Does what we say, believe, do, etc. save life or destroy it?

Could Jesus put you on stage to assault error? What in your life is shriveled, withered, dried up, deprived of its natural flow, shrunk, and wasted? Jesus is staging it. People are watching you. It’s embarrassing, but if you will stretch it out to the truth of Jesus in the face of error, God will totally restore it. If that’s you, symbolically stretch your right hand out now in faith believing God will restore that shriveled in you.

Other Related Sermons:

Sabbath Day, Petty or Pertinent – video audio notes Luke 6:1-5

Easter Nonsense – sermon video audio notes

I SEE GRACE pt 2 – Easter sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young