In a synagogue our Lord healed the man with a withered hand, and the religious watchers were filled with anger because, according to their view, our Lord had desecrated the Sabbath. Surely, there is no desecration of divine ordinances so powerful as that severe orthodoxy which clogs the stream of compassion. By fulfilling its intention, the Lord of the Sabbath sacredly kept it in restoring this man to health and power.
Luke gives us here the account of our Lord's choosing of the twelve. It is instructive and revealing that Luke tells us that our Lord preceded this election by a night of prayer. In the arrangement of the names we notice that they were placed in double harness, two by two, yet there was but one apostolate.
We have next our Lord's discourse to His disciples, delivered in the hearing of the crowd. The difference between this address and the Sermon on the Mount is, among other things, in the omission here of all contrast between the old system and the new. Here we have the great principles for the blessing of humanity at large. Jesus ended His charge by a claim, quiet in its assumption of authority, and startling also, as He revealed the character which will abide in spite of all storms. Carefully note the threefold condition.
1. "Every one that cometh to Me." surrender.
2. "And heareth My words," discipleship.
3. "And doeth them," obedience.
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25