|Dr. Couch, why did Christ heal and do miracles so often on the Sabbath?|
ANSWER: One could argue that He was pushing the Jews to accept good works being done on the Sabbath as upon any other day. But the better answer would be that He was doing a good work on any day, even it happened to be on the Sabbath. No work was to be done on the Sabbath, and the Jews, in their distorted view of the Law, saw Him violating the Law of Moses.
A good answer may be found in John 7:21-24. Christ had done a good work on the Sabbath. He said, "I did one deed [on the Sabbath] and you all marvel" (v. 21). He added, "On this account Moses has given you circumcision (not because it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a man. If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath that the Law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made an entire man well on the Sabbath?" (vv. 22-23).
In other words, the Jews did not consider circumcising on the Sabbath was breaking the Law, but they did healing someone! Christ was showing their hypocrisy and their legalism, and too, He was showing how much they hated Him. So it may be that Christ was not trying to taunt the Jews, but He simply was not going to stop healing or doing a good work on the Sabbath. Whatever was needed to be done, He went forward and did it, and did not care what the Jews thought. This is seen also concerning the man with a withered hand (Luke 6:6-12). He said to the Jews, "I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good, or to do harm, to save a life, or to destroy it?" (v. 9). The Jews responded and "were filled with rage, and discussed together what they might do to Jesus" (v. 11).
The Jews had forgotten that "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath" (v. 5) and He could do as He pleased on that day. In my commentary on Luke I wrote:
The great sorrow of this story is how the leaders could ignore the great miracle that had just taken place before their very eyes. Their religiosity and animosity toward Christ was so great that they were blinded with hatred. This moral and emotional tragedy permeates the gospel stories.
The Jews were so spiritually narrow-minded that they could not see the big picture, nor could they see who He was, the promised King of Israel, and the Son of God. I believe this explains why He continued to "work" on the Sabbath no matter what they said or thought!
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch