Thursday 25 October 2018

Bible Book:

Then he said to them, 'Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save life or to kill?' (v. 4)

Mark 3:1-6 Thursday 25 October 2018

Psalm: Psalm 20


The scene was set for another confrontation; he was back in the synagogue, then, as now, a place of peace and reflection. There was a man there, planted perhaps, with a paralysed hand. Troublemakers were there too, self-styled ‘Sabbath police’, though it didn’t seem like they were there to pray, they were hoping to see Jesus break the Sabbath rules, again. So much for keeping the Sabbath! Jesus spotted them, of course, and called the paralysed man, “Stand up, let everyone see you.” He wasn’t in a hurry.

Jesus asked everyone, “So what do the ‘rules’ say? Make things worse, or better? Kill, or save a life …?” No one said anything.

He was boiling mad, and sad that they were so callous. “It’s fair enough that you’re not going to heal him, you can’t. But you’re waiting for me to heal him and break the ‘rules’, just so you can denounce me. You’re treating this bloke like a pawn or a lab rat. You’re not interested in him at all, are you? But you’re not open about that, just as you won’t show your anger towards me honestly. You won’t even say, ‘We disagree with you.’”

He looked around again, angrily, then towards the man with love in his eyes – ”Hold out your hand” – and he was completely healed. This was too much for the ‘religious’ types, even though they’d been waiting for it. This was enough for them to start plotting, in an unholy alliance, with the Roman collaborators, for a way to get rid of him.


To Ponder

  • Where do you see rules causing trouble rather than being useful guides?
  • What would happen if Jesus showed up in your church and started challenging what we do, or don’t do?
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