Binding Broken Hearts

Introducing Jesus to Those Who Need Him Most

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Service and Sacrifice - Mark 3:1-6

When we last saw Jesus, we saw His interactions with two groups of disciples (those of the Pharisees and those of John) and with the Pharisees themselves regarding true freedom in Christ and the celebration of the Sabbath.

After Jesus finished the conversation with the Pharisees, Jesus and the disciples went into the synagogue (Mark 3:1). And the Pharisees followed right after Him.

“He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.” (Mark 3:1-2)

Then Jesus did exactly what the Pharisees expected Him to do. “And He said to the man who had the withered hand, ‘Step forward.’” (Mark 3:3)

But then Jesus did something they did not expect Him to do. He turned and directed His attention on them.

“Then He said to them, ‘Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?’” (Mark 3:4)

Before entering the synagogue, Jesus had had a conversation with these Pharisees about what was and was not lawful to do on the Sabbath (Mark 2:23-28). And here Jesus stood with a man of their own congregation who was in great need of healing. Should Jesus tell the man to return to his seat because His healing power was not to be used on Sabbath? Should the man have to wait and seek out Jesus after sundown for his healing? What picture of God would that paint?

There was no good answer to Jesus’ question. So the Pharisees simply stood there glaring at Jesus.

“And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, …” (Mark 3:5)

The Greek word translated as anger is ŏrgē (or-GAY), a surge of passion and indignation.

The Greek word translated as grieved is sullupeo (sool-loop-EH-o), to feel sorry for, be deeply distressed, to grieve together.

Could it be that Jesus was not so much angry AT the Pharisees, but angry FOR the Pharisees because He knew where the hardness of their hearts would lead them – away from Him and toward the enemy of souls? Remember, Jesus was just as interested in saving each Pharisee as He was in saving the leper or paralytic. Every person is a child of God, and God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9b)

“He said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.” (Mark 3:5)

Jesus healed the hand of His son on the Sabbath because the Sabbath is a day of restoration, healing, and rest in Him. This was a lesson that Jesus wanted His people to understand. This is a lesson we still need to understand today.

But it was one that the Pharisees did not learn that day.

“Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.” (Mark 3:6)

They left the synagogue that day not rejoicing in the freedom and restoration of one of their church members, but filled with anger and hatred for the Redeemer – the hardness of their hearts taking them directly where Jesus saw it would. And Jesus grieved.

Before we smugly read this and think about those poor Pharisees who missed what was right in front of them, take some time and ponder these questions:

  • Do you spend dedicated and consistent time in God’s Word so you could hear the lessons God wants you to learn?
  • Are there lessons today that God is trying to share with you but which you are ignoring because the lessons are painful or not what you really want?
  • Are you angry with God because of something that has happened that you are not happy with and you don’t understand why God would allow that?
  • Have you been angry with God for so long that you are almost ready follow the enemy of souls?

We may not be so different from the Pharisees after all.

“‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ Says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.’” (Isaiah 1:18)

“Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” (Hebrews 3:15)

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