Monday, February 24
What moved Jesus?
Scripture: Numbers 14-16, Mark 3
Mark 3:3–5 Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” 4 Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him.
5 He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored!
Jesus went to the synagogue on the Sabbath and His enemies were watching closely to see if He would heal on the Sabbath so they could accuse Him of breaking the Sabbath law. Jesus knew what they were up to, and decided to force the issue: He called the man up front, and asked His critics if it was permissible to do good and save life on the Sabbath.
Jesus was both angered and grieved at their hardness of heart. They were not concerned about this man and his deformity. They only cared about their religious traditions and institutions. Anyone who cared about the man would have been thrilled to see him healed no matter what day it was! Not them.
First, I’m so impressed that Jesus forced the issue. I would have quietly asked the man to meet me out back after service and healed him away from accusing eyes. Not Jesus. The stakes were too high for the man, for Jesus’ accusers, and for everyone watching. When someone’s well-being is at stake, when spiritual truth (especially about the nature and purpose of God) is at stake, Jesus forced the issue.
Too often, I settle for keeping the peace, calming the waters, rather than forcing the issue when it really matters.
Second, there are not many places where it says Jesus got angry or grieved; this is one. What moved Jesus? What made Him feel that way? When people were mistreated, kept from experiencing what God had for them. When people allowed their religious traditions and institutions to keep another person from God’s intended well-being.
How do I feel when I see others suffering? When I see people harming others? It’s easy to get complacent. Jesus never was.
Prayer: Lord, help me care about what You care about. Let my heart break with what breaks Yours. Move me to action!