Binding Broken Hearts

Introducing Jesus to Those Who Need Him Most

header photo

Service and Sacrifice - Mark 2:18-27

When we last saw Jesus, we saw His call to Levi Matthew which led to a discussion with the Pharisees regarding His true mission – to seek and save the lost.

After Jesus finished the conversation with the Pharisees, the next encounter Jesus has is with the disciples of the Pharisees and the disciples of John the Baptist. The subject was fasting.

The disciples of the Pharisees and John the Baptist were observing some sort of fasting period, but Jesus and His disciples were not. These two groups of disciples got together and approached Jesus to find out why. Perhaps they had been watching Jesus, noticed He and His disciples were different, and were honestly seeking an answer.

Jesus responded by talking with them about the Bridegroom (who would one day not be with them and that would be a time for fasting), about new cloth patches on old garments, and about new wine in old wineskins. (Mark 2:19-22)

What I see in this response is Jesus gently leading these two groups of (possibly seeking) disciples to begin to strip away the traditions and mindsets that had built up over time and which obscured the clear word of God.

Being disciples, they must have had a heart to follow God. Perhaps they were over burdened with rules and regulations they were trying to adhere to which did not have a basis in Scripture. Perhaps they had come to the end of their ropes feeling as though they would never be good enough to earn God’s favor. Perhaps they began to see the freedom that is found only in Jesus. Perhaps the encounter with Jesus that day was life changing for some, if not all, of them.

The questions continued. The next encounter recorded is with the Pharisees again. This time they are not pleased with how Jesus is comporting Himself on the Sabbath. Jesus and the disciples were plucking heads of grain on the Sabbath as they walked through a field.

“And the Pharisees said to Him, ‘Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?’” (Mark 2:24)

Jesus has just as much desire to bring freedom to the Pharisees as He did for the two groups of disciples. Jesus’ response was not a defense of His actions. By His response He wanted the Pharisees to see the Sabbath in the light of Scripture – that the Sabbath is a day to celebrate a relationship with God and all He has done for us. Jesus wanted the Sabbath to once again be a delight to them, and not a day of heavy burdens.

How is it with you today? Are you struggling under a load of burdens that may not be rooted in Scripture? Have you come to the end of your rope because you will never be good enough to win God’s favor? Then our Bible passage today is especially for you.

I encourage you to stop struggling. The truth is you will never be good enough to win God’s favor. You already have God’s favor because He loves you dearly. And if you accept it, you can have Christ’s righteousness envelope you like a cozy blanket on a cold, rainy evening.

I also encourage you to study the Bible for yourself and find the sweet simplicity of being a Jesus follower. Let God’s Word be life-changing for you today.

If you would like to help place God's Word in prison cells so inmates can connect with the life-transforming power of Jesus, please consider becoming a financial partner with us. Click here to see how you can help.

Go Back