Yet Christ wasn't fooled. He had healed the man- on the Sabbath no less. The very same day they were so adamant about protecting. Yet no sooner than he had healed the man, he addressed the Pharisees in their own sinfulness. Jesus began to question them. But the Pharisees remained quiet. They knew that either answer that they could give would make them look like fools. Fools for not wanting their kinsman to be healed or fools for blatantly ignoring the facts facing them, i.e. that they were guilty before God. This is especially true as the questions he asked them seared their hearts. Which of you who have a son, cow or donkey fall, sits back as they fall into a ditch? What did you do when something that belonged to you, something that was dear and precious to you, had fallen into the earth? Furthermore, what did you do when it happened on the Sabbath? Did you leave them there and wait till the following day? Or did you stage a rescue? Did you work on the Sabbath to get back the very thing that you lost? Jesus candidly pointed out the wickedness in their hearts.
In this story, Jesus also points out the wickedness in our own hearts. In our own hearts where our wicked desires live, we create our own hypocrisies. We often set rules for others that we easily break because we have our own "reasons." We often do so void of instruction from the Lord. Like the folk in Mark 10:48, And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me... We try to act like holy club bouncers, refusing to let people in because they don't "look the part." We create bars and tell people that they have to live to this standard or that standard and condemn them when they fall short. We do this at the same time as we plead to God for mercy. Often we easily portray ourselves as the pharisee looking down on the sinner. Both prayed to God, but only one left justified (and it wasn't the pharisee).
Mercy is a gift. One that is easily bestowed on others, yet so easily withheld. But as Christians we are called to mercy. Even when dealing with egregious sins. This does not mean that sin does not have consequences. But it does mean that our outward dealings with others must be done under the banner of Christ and in the mind of the Spirit. If we belong to him, then we must recognize that a weak brother or sister is our own family and we are called to pull them out of the ditch as if it were ourselves.