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?
All Commentaries on Matthew 12:11 Go To Matthew 12
Again on the sabbath he performed a healing, defending himself on behalf of the disciples’ activities. The Lukan Gospel writer says “that he made the man stand in the middle” and asked them if it was allowed to do good on the sabbath. Note well the Lord’s goodness of heart. He made him stand in the middle so that he might bend them to his vision, so that by being overcome by the sight they might reject wickedness and in pitying the man they might cease from their savage behavior. But the wild and misanthropic men chose rather to distract Christ from his teaching than to see this man saved. … Thus the other Gospel writers say that Jesus asked questions, but this author says that he was asked questions. “And they questioned him: ‘Is it allowed to heal on the sabbath?’ so that they might accuse him.” It is likely that both events happened. For since they were brutal and saw that [Jesus] would come at any rate to heal him, they were eager to preoccupy him with questions, resolving to hinder him. Therefore they asked, “Is it allowed to heal on the sabbath?” not so that they might learn but “so that they might bring charges against him.” And indeed the act was sufficient if they wished to prosecute him. But through his words they wished to find an excuse for prosecution by preparing beforehand for themselves an abundance of arguments. … “And he made the man stand in the middle,” not because Jesus feared them but because he was eager to help them and to draw them toward his mercy. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily