In the second section of this week's Bible lesson on Matter there is the restoring of the man with a withered hand. This is now the third time that the adversaries of our Lord have accused him of breaking the Sabbath laws. Remember, these laws are not any of the Ten Commandments given by God, but traditions put in place by man. Yet, if any of the 613 rules were disobeyed, punishment would follow. There are laws that govern man, but they are the laws of God, spiritual laws. Any laws that condemsn man to suffer are the so-called laws of matter. They are not really laws at all and they have no power behind them to enforce them. God's law is a protection to man and that is a totally different thing.
In this story, Jesus is in the synogogue. He sees a man whose right hand was withered. That detail comes from the gospel of Luke, the physician, who always noticed those things. We do not know if this withering was the result of an accident or some disease that gradually led to its loss of motion. Whatever the cause, the result was probably that his man could no longer work. Jesus is questioned by the Pharisees about whether it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath. He responds with an example that would have made perfect sense to those who were listening in. He asks them who would among them, owning only one sheep, and that sheep fallen into a pit, wouldn't lift it out? How much better then is a man? Disappointed in their hardness of heart, their willingness to let someone suffer rather than break a foolish law, he turns to the man and tells him to stretch forth his hand. Only malice could call healing by a word, without labour or medicine, a breach of the sabbath. Jesus then healed with that simple sentence. The man obeyed his command and his hand was restored
Now before we condemn that hardness of heart, let's be sure we are not doing the same thing. How often do we make a casual remark about someone being exposed to contagion or think that they might have some sickness that God never created. Or, being sick ourselves, believe we have to go through some series of symptoms until we are well again. Are we choosing to listen to and obey false laws not of God's making? God saw all that He had created and it was very good. So nothing that claims to make us sick or hurt originates with divine Love. Or, as Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health: "Every law of matter or the body, supposed to govern man, is rendered null and void by the law of Life, God." Don't choose to obey the wrong laws and suffer needlessly. Choose God and His divine law of everpresent good.