The Christian life is not concerned to avoid sinning; but to embrace freedom, and use it responsibly, to bring freedom to others. It is not a negative outlook on life (Do Not Touch) but a positive outlook in a world that longs to be transformed (Touch, and in touching, heal). This is not playing with words: the life that seeks to avoid sinning and the life that seeks to embrace freedom are fundamentally opposed to one another, lead in opposite directions, and to opposing consequences.
This is clearly seen in the encounters Jesus has in the synagogue. We must not view his critics as insincere in their faith: they are devout in their pursuit of a life that seeks to avoid sinning. From such an outlook, one must unavoidably come to the conclusion that to interpret scripture boldly, personally, without the safeguard of appealing to the wisdom of experts, would place you at (too great a) risk of sinning; and likewise that to heal the broken body or drive out demonic parasites places you at risk of sinning by breaking the command to rest from work on the Sabbath, or indeed causes you to have actually sinned.
Jesus, however, is not concerned to avoid sinning, but to embrace freedom, and use it responsibly, to help others embrace that same responsible freedom. From such an outlook, one must unavoidably come to the conclusion that to interpret scripture timidly, impersonally, relying on appealing to the wisdom of experts, would be to shrink back from the freedom God intends for his children;* and likewise that to pass by the opportunity to embrace that freedom by using it to bring freedom to someone else – held from freedom by a constricting physical condition or demonic oppression** – would be to shrink back from freedom: to shrink back from life, and so incur wrath. His interpretation of scripture, and response, is of a wholly other paradigm.
Jesus is not bound by the fear that he might even inadvertently offend God. He already knows that love covers a multitude of sins and that the sin that separates us from God and neighbour can be forgiven and relationships reconciled. Indeed, he would live and die by that belief: daring (as his cousin had recognised and his followers came to realise) to carry the sin of the world, and that for years before his crucifixion. Indeed, Jesus is not concerned to avoid sinning, because such an attempt tragically misses the point. The irony is that the life lived seeking to avoid sinning must so withdraw from the world that it is found guilty of the sin of having never lived, having never embraced the freedom God intended. And one who has never lived cannot die to self; and so can have no share in Christ. Truly, the Christian life cannot be walked on this legalistic path. Rather, it is run – heart pounding, lungs bursting – on the path of freedom, in the footsteps of Jesus, who is just ahead of us, joyfully leading the way...
*By this I do not mean that any interpretation goes – it must be an expression of responsible freedom, in keeping with having been given freedom and being held responsible for how we use that freedom – but that there is no value in reciting the teaching of your favourite Bible teacher unless you have discovered the freedom of which they speak and taken responsibility to exercise that freedom for yourself, in your own life. Moreover, boldness in embracing freedom ought not to be equated with bravado or machismo: which are mere masks with which to hide our fear, our deep lack of true love of our true self and therefore inability to love our neighbour as ourselves.