Jesus Heals on the Sabbath

“Now Titus, as he rode out to Gischala, found it would be easy for him to take the city upon the first onset… Now he was already satiated with the shedding of blood… So he was rather desirous the city might be surrendered up to him on terms. Accordingly, when he saw the wall full of those men that were of the corrupted party, he said to them… as many as have intrusted themselves to the security of the Romans’ right hands… do enjoy their own possessions in safety; for… they might be pardoned; but that their continuance still in their opposition, when they saw that to be impossible, was inexcusable; for that if they will not comply with such humane offers, and right hands for security, they should have experience of such a war as would spare nobody… But John returned Titus this answer: That for himself he was content to hearken to his proposals… Yet he said that Titus ought to have such regard to the Jewish law, as to grant them leave to celebrate that day, which was the seventh day of the week, on which it was unlawful not only to remove their arms, but even to treat of peace also; and that even the Romans were not ignorant how the period of the seventh day was among them a cessation from all labors; and that he who should compel them to transgress the law about that day would be equally guilty with those that were compelled to transgress it: and that this delay could be of no disadvantage to him; for why should any body think… to fly away? … Thus did this man put a trick upon Titus, not so much out of regard to the seventh day as to his own preservation… and had his hopes of life in that night, and in his flight therein… Now, in the night time, when John saw that there was no Roman guard about the city, he seized {now his hands seem to be working again;} the opportunity directly, and… he fled to Jerusalem…”

– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book 4, 2:2-4

So, Titus offers the Jews his right hand to surrender, but they don’t have right hands because they can’t treat for peace on the Sabbath. Now, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all tell a story of Jesus healing on the Sabbath day and the Jews try to accuse him of thus breaking the law of the Sabbath, but they all disagree on the details. Understanding the Gospels as a mockery of the Wars of the Jews, we can now understand them all as just different ways of satirizing the same historical event instead of as conflicting historical accounts. First, Luke specifically tells of a man with a withered right hand on the Sabbath because John did not want to accept the Romans’ right hands for a surrender on the Sabbath:

“And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered {he couldn’t offer his right hand for a surrender;}. And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it {why is Jesus talking about destroying life on the Sabbath??? Hehe;}? And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.”

– Luke 6:6-11

Matthew just says “withered hand” but doesn’t specify if it is the right hand of surrender or not:

“And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered {someone should give him a humane offer of a right hand;}. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.”

– Matthew 12:9-14 (Mark3:1-6)

“…Jesus said to them, “When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom {the inside joke;}].””

– Thomas 1:22

“If you do not fast from the world, you will not find the (Father’s) kingdom. If you do not observe the sabbath as a sabbath you will not see the Father.”

– Thomas 1:27

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