On another Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse him. But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” And he rose and stood there. And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” And after looking around at them all he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored. (Luke 6:6-10)
As Jesus was teaching and saw this man with a withered hand, He knew the scribes and pharisees were watching and trying to find a reason to accuse Him. Yet, He also knew what His Father was directing Him to do - heal the man with the withered hand.
I can only assume there was some temptation to avoid conflict, but Jesus chose to be obedient to His Father in telling the man to come to Him and to stretch out his hand. In turn, the man with the withered hand was obedient to Jesus when he came and stood and stretched out his hand. In both acts of obedience to God, this miraculous healing was done and the man received restoration of his hand.
How do you respond in the face of conflict?
If you walked into a situation in which you knew people were watching and waiting to accuse you of something and stir problems with you, would you be quick to respond in your flesh or wait and be submissive to the Father’s will in that moment?
This is a hard question to ask yourself and truthfully answer. Most people would take one of a few choices – get instantly aggressive and defensive, opt to be passive-aggressive, or simply walk away to avoid conflict altogether. Personally, in my own flesh, I might initially get my feathers a bit ruffled and be upset that someone is seeking to come against me. However, we know that if we are being submissive and obedient to the Father’s will, He will give us what to say and/or do in that moment, so we should respond in the Spirit of power, love, and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7).
One thing to take note of here, is that in light of the Pharisees seeking to come against Jesus, He didn’t lose sight of the Father’s will and the prompting of the Spirit to heal this man with a withered hand. This man’s life was worth navigating through the ill wills of others in order to bring restoration.
The next time you’re in a situation that may initially ruffle your feathers, pray that the Spirit would reveal to you anything the Father wants you to say or do in that moment. Who knows, you may impact someone else’s life greatly for God’s glory in that moment through your submission and obedience to your heavenly Father.