When Jesus prepared to heal on the Sabbath a man whose right hand was withered, the Pharisees were angered.
The Pharisees asked a question of hostility that was curious in its expression of faith:"Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days?"
The Savior's response was, "Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days." (Matt. 12:12.)
His instruction, stated Elder James E. Talmage, in Jesus the Christ, was consistent with the law of Moses, which "expressly allowed acts of mercy."
The instruction not only frustrated the intent of the Pharisees but also carried the message that the Sabbath can well be observed in a more active and less passive way.
Some examples in the Gospels of the Savior actively "doing well" on the Sabbath include:
- Walking on the Sabbath day "through the corn." (Matt. 12:1.)
- Healing a woman of her infirmity while teaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath. (Luke 13:11.)
- Healing a man blind since birth. (John 9:1-7.)
- Healing a man at the pool who had an infirmity for 38 years. (John 5:2-9.)
- Preaching to the Jews at the Feast of the Tabernacles. (John 7:21-21.)
Articles on this page may be used in conjunction with the Gospel Doctrine course of study.
Information compiled by John L. Hart
Sources: Jesus the Christ, by Elder James E. Talmage; and April 1977, October 1982, April 1983, and April 1985 Conference Reports.