Today's Gospel in Art: He said to the man with the withered hand, 'Stand up!'

Pharisees, by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff  1912, © Museum of Modern Art, New York

Pharisees, by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff 1912, © Museum of Modern Art, New York

Gospel of 9th September 2019 - Luke 6:6-11

On the sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees were watching him to see if he would cure a man on the sabbath, hoping to find something to use against him. But he knew their thoughts; and he said to the man with the withered hand, 'Stand up! Come out into the middle.' And he came out and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, 'I put it to you: is it against the law on the sabbath to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to destroy it?' Then he looked round at them all and said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' He did so, and his hand was better. But they were furious, and began to discuss the best way of dealing with Jesus.

Reflection on the Painting on Copper

Today's work of art was painted in 1912, two years before the beginning of Word War I… and the angst present in our painting, makes for an uncomfortable work to look at. The sharp angular lines, the jealous red faces, their conspiring expressions, all contribute towards an aggressive rendition of the subject of the Pharisees. Even though there is no violence depicted in this painting, there is a distinct undercurrent: the anticipation of violence of World War I starting shortly after this was painted; and the aggressiveness of the Pharisees who always wanted to trap Christ...... To read on see:

Tags: Christian Art Today, Work on the Sabbath, Patrick van der Vorst, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff

We Need Your Support

ICN aims to provide speedy and accurate news coverage of all subjects of interest to Catholics and the wider Christian community. As our audience increases - so do our costs. We need your help to continue this work.

Please support our journalism by donating today.