In his excellent book, From Wild Man to Wise Man, Richard Rohr reveals a good lesson for men from Luke 6:6-11. In this familiar story, Jesus heals a man whose right hand is withered only to encounter the condemnation of the Pharisees. He points out that there are three kinds of men in this story:

  • Passive Men– The man with the withered hand is weak. “He doesn’t have any initiative or determination. He doesn’t ask for anything…And when Jesus does call him, he stands there silently.” (p. 88) Some of us are like this man. We lack motivation, inner conviction to take action, and gratitude for God’s touch in our lives.
  • Pious Men– Those in positions of power, especially pious power, are quick to become passive-aggressive, couching their criticism with hollow legalism. “They take religion seriously, yet they are trying to block the work of God…The best way of being a hateful person and not feel an ounce of guilt about it is to be hateful for God.” (p. 89) Sit with that statement for a couple of minutes. We easily see an application here for Muslims extremists; do we realize that we are sometimes capable of doing the same?
  • A Powerful Man– Jesus is the third man. When he sees a need he acts according to his convictions, he questions, he teaches and he refuses to allow criticism to stop him. “He is not afraid to confront people or to question the law…He just does the truth and he bears their silent fury.” (p. 90)

Lord, give us eyes to see and ears to hear your truth. May we renounce passivity and legalism and courageously choose to follow you.