Stuck in the Wrong Story

Matthew 12:13-14

Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

Jesus performed miracles. Over and over again. And sometimes he performed them in times and places that the leaders of the time didn’t like. The story of the man with a shriveled hand takes place on the Sabbath, a day set aside for rest. The Pharisees had turned the day into an absolute mess with law after law after law to make sure Sabbath was kept. In the process they had lost vision of relationship and loving God and others. 

On this particular Sabbath, Jesus and his disciples had already upset the Pharisees by picking grain to eat. So, the Pharisees set up a trap for Jesus: they would give him a chance to heal someone and see if he took the bait. 

Does anyone else see how ridiculous their trap is?

Jesus takes the “bait”, shows compassion, love, and grace, and heals the man. IT’S A MIRACLE! This man’s life is changed. He can now work and provide for any family he has. He can be a part of normal society rather than live as a beggar.

So obviously the Pharisees see their error and repent. Wait, what? Oh yeah, they leave angry at Jesus and plot to kill him.

They had lost the story. They had forgotten that the story of God had been about bringing freedom, creating community, and bringing deliverance. They were stuck in the stories of power, perfection, and legalism.

Sometimes I get stuck in the wrong story, too. Usually I get stuck in the story of self-pity or self-doubt. Or some over-inflated sense of pride in myself outside of Jesus. I would imagine that you can name your stories that you get stuck in, too.

When we get stuck in wrong stories, we are not about God’s kingdom. So we have to get unstuck. I suggest a couple things:

  • Pray about it
  • Tell someone you’re stuck
  • Have them pray with you about it
  • Fix your eyes on Jesus. He will pull you into his story as you see the story he lived and showed

What story are you stuck in?

Give me Christ or else I die!


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