"He [Jesus] looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man [with the withered hand], 'Stretch out your hand.' He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus."1
Because Jesus healed this man on the Sabbath (the formal religious day of the religious leaders), they were furious with him and planned to kill him.
A major fault of these religious leaders was that they loved their man-made rules and doctrines more than they loved people! Furthermore, they used these rules to control people. Instead of communicating God's love and mercy, they communicated their rigid religiosity and drove people from God rather than draw them to Him.
While correct teaching is important, "Christianity is much more than a creed. It is experiencing divine love, divine acceptance, and divine forgiveness and communicating these to every life we touch."
St. Francis had it right in his prayer:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light, and
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much
Seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please make me an instrument to share Your love, joy and peace wherever I go and to every life I touch. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’s name, amen.”
1. Mark 3:5-6 (NIV).